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Best Winter Running Kit To Keep You Warm & Dry

Dec 30, 2018 | Kit, Running | 16 comments

This time last year, I was hopping on a plane to avoid the sleet and snow that was coming down in the UK. I escaped to Australia and thought I’d avoided any further snow. I couldn’t have been more wrong, we had more snow last year than I have ever experienced in the south of England before.

And although it felt pretty mild on my run this morning, I am not holding out hope that it’s not going to get a lot colder over the next 2-3 months.

With that in mind, it’s time to update my own winter running wardrobe and share some of last year’s favourites with you. When it comes to cold weather gear, I personally think it’s worth investing in a few key pieces that will stand up to the elements, keep you warm but not too hot, and mean that no run will ever be too tough.

Fleece leggings 

My legs are usually the coldest bit, in particular my thighs – not sure if that’s normal but after my 16 miler in NYC, my legs were bright red!

I have just ordered these Toasty Tech Tight  from Lululemon to add to my collection of fleecy tights after falling in love with them in NYC. My favourites in my current collection are the Brooks Threshold Tights and the Sweaty Betty thermodynamic leggings (I actually have a really old version of these but they still work!)


Living in the UK means you need to have outerwear for every eventuality; light drizzle, torrential rain, hail storm, snow, wind…did I mention rain? But it’s so hard to find breathable, waterproof jackets. I made the mistake of wearing a very waterproof jacket for the Royal Parks Half earlier in the year that seemed to keep the moisture in as well as out!

My absolute favourite is the Down for it All Vest that I bought last week (lets call it a Christmas present to myself) after running in my J Crew gilet for months. I am obsessed – but very serious question, do you have to wash it after every wear? Because I definitely haven’t! For those not as Lulu obsessed as I am, New Balance have a great looking Thermal Vest.

After loving the vest SO much, I’ve also ordered the Down for it All Pullover in the Lululemon sale so be prepared to see that all over my Instagram this winter! The Nike AeroLayer jacket looks really smart and stylish whilst this Under Armour ColdGear run storm jacket is very similar to one I have and love.

NYC at Christmas

Rain jackets I actually find more difficult to get the right one, and my go-to old one from Sweaty Betty sadly isn’t available anymore, however this Nike Shield jacket is the most similar I could find (and cheaper!). It’s wind and water proof, with ventilation to ensure you don’t getting wetter on the inside than out, as has happened to me on more than one occasion.

Best winter running kit

Long Sleeves 

When looking for a good long sleeve running top, I always choose ones with thumb holes to pull down (or tuck into my gloves) to keep warm. I want the fabric to be long enough that it won’t ride up and expose flesh and cover some of my bottom too.

The two warmest long sleeve tops/jumpers that are pretty much worn on repeat during winter are a Merino wool polo neck and a Nike Hyperwarm tunnel neck top. Both are amazingly snuggly, and actually have to be saved for the coldest days so that I don’t overheat. They also are staples in my ski wardrobe!

Icebreaker have a Merino half-zip in the Wiggle sale, and Sweaty Betty do a gorgeous teal Merino running polo neck (the black one is also in the sale!)

Best winter running kit


If these pics are anything to go by, I need to buy some more thermal headgear! The one I’m wearing is an old Sweaty Betty ski headband (I actually wrote a whole post on headbands, hats and caps earlier this year). I love this Star Headband from Crew or for a plainer headband, this black fleece is perfect, or H&M’s light pink version.

Sockwise, my feet always seem to be cold and wet, however Merino socks like these from Inov-8 seem to do a good job. However as someone who perpetually loses socks, I tend to not be able to find my warm socks and have to make do with any old pair I can find (often unmatching!)

I recently shared my quest to find gloves that would actually keep me warm and am going to try them out for it’s own dedicated post. Stay tuned..

What is your favourite piece of winter running kit? Or the item highest on your ‘need’ list if the conditions turn *arctic* in the UK again? And for those of you who have to deal with actual snow, ice, storms every winter – what is your must-have kit?? 


  1. W. Purves

    Spend, spend, spend! But very smart .G .

  2. Rachel

    I’ve just recently bought the Brooks Threshold Tights as a present to myself, and I can’t wait to try them out properly! The fleece lining is just what I need – all my other tights don’t have any fleece linings in them, so I always get back from runs with red thighs.

    Socks-wise, Hilly Merino Wool socks are a lifesaver and I’m also looking to invest in some SealSkinz for trail/wet/cold runs. Loads of people I know have raved about them!

    • charlotte

      SealSkinz are definitely on my list to try this year too. I LOVE the threshold tights, they are so warm and have side pockets – double win!

  3. Organic Runner Mom

    I love New Balance! That vest looks super warm. I am a big fan of thermal leggings. I live in New Hampshire so bundling up is key! Cheers to 2019!

    • charlotte

      I bet! Our winter looks pathetic compared to yours! Thermal leggings are definitely a winner!

  4. Lauren

    I have been wanting to buy a few of the Skida headbands. They have really cute prints and look cozy. I also love my Oiselle lux earwarmer and Lesley tights (light fleece lined).

    • charlotte

      Ooh will have to check those out! Thanks!!

  5. Susan

    What size of Lulu lemon do I need I am small in sweaty Betty.

    • charlotte

      I wear a size 6 at Lululemon!

    • charlotte

      I would say a 4-6 if you’re a small sweaty betty, I usually wear small SB!

      • Susan

        Thank you x

  6. Cari

    If you can get CuddlDudds there, their ClimateSmart lineup is how I layer to avoid Rudolph thighs. I’m with you on the thumb holes too
    NYC is similar to London climate wise although less wet, so I don’t have to do the drastic layers that some do. When we have a sub 10F (-10 or so?) I jsut go indoors – I refuse to be a martyr and I’d rather run comfortably
    Thanks for linking to your options, off to research err shop

  7. Robyn

    bit of a personal question, but what is the sizing like in Brooks tights? I’m a 4 in lululemon and an XS in Nike tights so not sure if the XS would be too small or the S too big! thanks 🙂

  8. Emma

    My favourite pieces of winter running kit are my Lululemon Run Fast gloves and a pair of 2XU compression tights I bought from TK Maxx. They are incredibly warm and also reflective so great for running when it’s dark. I still need to find a decent headband.

  9. Danielle

    The toasty tech tights just went on sale at Lulu but I’m nervous to pull the trigger since they are final sale. Are you happy with yours??

    • charlotte

      i haven’t got my new ones yet (sent them to a friend in Canada to get the discount!) but I have an old pair and love them! I would say GO FOR IT! You never regret Lulu!


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