“What do you wear when it’s -38c outside??”
This is one of the most common questions asked of experienced winter runners and it’s essential information for newbies who want to keep active over the winter… so here’s what I wore this morning and why.
Legs, right to left: 1) Thermal compression tights on my legs, to keep a dry, supportive layer on my skin. 2) Craft Pro long-underwear, because a thermal layer is needed (endlessly adding tights doesn’t work the same) 3) Thermal tights with Windstopper on the front of my legs.

Feet, far right: 1) Compression socks, because feet work harder on the uneven surface (and these ones are reasonably warm) and 2) My REGULAR Running Shoes – they’re a bit cool to start, but the amount of blood swinging through my legs was enough to have me warm 5min later throughout a 90min run.

Hands, far left: 1) Fleece thermal gloves for insulation + 2) wind shell outer mitts for protection – if you have normal circulation, you don’t need to overdo it here, as blood swings into your arms too.

Torso, right to left: 1) Craft Pro Warm layer, for constant contact with my skin and moisture management. 2) Rapha Deep Winter hoodie, a heavy merino layer that keeps warm even when wet. 3) MEC Super-Roubaix hoodie, for thermal help with a form fit.

Head, right: 1) Sugoi thermal layer that I can breath through and 2) North Face Windstopper toque for my head. I also had the Rapha hood as my inside layer and the MEC hood as my outside layer… and was happy to have all of them!

Outer Layer: 1) Superlight-weight Windstopper top, that puts breathability at top priority (it’s easy to get ice between your layers if the moisture isn’t able to escape!) and 2) a colourful vest as one more thing to keep my torso protected and to keep me from rocking ‘full ninja’ in the first dark hours of the run… why is all winter stuff black??

I hope that helps give you an idea of what layers can be worn for aerobic activities in winter (bonus points if you spotted the one bit of kit ‘unmentioned’ – no explanation needed there, right?) It’s always going to be personal, but that combination worked for me this morning.

Happy Winter!!
Patrick Peacock

January 9, 2016 6:31 pm Reply

Just for comparison sake, here is what I wore for the same run out there today:

Against the skin: Craft Boxer fit Windproof underwear, Icebreaker Crew Neck Long Sleeve

Thermal Layer: MEC Roubaix Layer (Close fit to upper body, with hood. Light fleece). Legs: Sub Zero Sugoi Run Tight.

Outer Layer: Windproof Insulated Jacket by Outdoor Research (Light Fleece insulation and Nylon Shell), Salomon Windproof Tight.

Feet: Icebreaker Trail Socks and Asics Nimbus Runners (Same shoes for all runs indoor and out).

Hands: Light Liner Mitt covered by a large synthetic insulative overmitt by Outdoor Research.

Head: Kept my face exposed, I like to breathe! Windproof toque and Windproof Balaclava by Outdoor Research as well as the hood from my MEC Roubaix Layer.

I must admit, I was a little warm to start, but on cool days at low to moderate exertion, I prefer to be on the warm side.