What do you wear running in the snow?

Running in the snow is one of my favorite things. I know for most folks this sounds a little weird. And it takes a little bit of faith in your gear. But trust, me, it’s totally worth it.

Here is a list of the key elements to add to your snow running kit. I’ll explain after.

  • Trail running shoes that have aggressive tread and breathable/non-mesh upper. Your local running store will know what to have you try.
  • Katoolha Nanospikes
  • Breathable running jacket that has water-resistant sections on the shoulders, at least
  • Some sort of inner pocket in your jacket or inner layer to keep your phone warm.
  • A ziplock bag for your phone.

Ok, why these items.

If your shoes are mesh, snow will go right through. Your feet will be wet and cold in no time. If your have an older pair of trail running shoes with still aggressive tread, you can put duct tape over the mesh and hit the snowy trails

The Nanospikes are just in case. If you are out running right after or during a snowfall, the tread on your shoes should bit in just fine with little to no slippage. If the snow has been on the ground for a day or two or if the trail/path is very heavily used, you can end up with patches of ice. Think it through. Be prepared for some trial and error. Note that the Nanospikes don’t bite really well on non-ice. Don’t fret just think it through and be cautious.

Why Nanospikes and not YakTrax? YakTrax are coils on rubber. They don’t bite into ice well at all. There are IceBug brand shoes where metal bits are permanently in the tread of the shoe. But, like all shoe choices, they fit some people and not others. They could be worth a try.

If you are running in falling snow, the water resistant jacket is pretty key. If it’s bluebird, you can wear any breathable running jacket.

Ok, the phone things. When batteries, like the one in your phone, get too cold, the juice is drained VERY quickly. No more pictures, digital maps…nothing. But if you put it in an inside pocket without a moisture proof barrier, like a plastic baggie, you will sweat your phone to death. At a minimum, the camera lens will be sweat-covered. Better safe than sorry. Nothing fancy needed.

And remember…you don’t have to pile on the layers if the sun is out, the winds are down, and the temps are 25deg or above. YOU WILL GET REALLY WARM. This is the having faith in the gear part. Watch a movie or two about climbing Everest and you’ll see mountaineers sweating out of their suits when the sun comes out and the winds die down. As always start chilled, not cold. Remove or add layers accordingly. Trial and error.

Friends, feel free to add your favorite tricks and tools in the comments.

More in a future post about dressing for runs in REALLY cold temps. Till then…

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