Best running gear for winter jogging: cold, rain and darkness are just a state of mind

Now stop whining and get out there, you big baby

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It may be wet, dark, windy and all-round miserable out there but that’s not going to stop you going for a run, right? Right? Get ready to ditch the weather-related excuses, forgo the sofa and get those training miles in.

Thanks to the clever innovators kicking out brilliant new fabrics that keep you warm, dry and eye-searingly visible, the latest winter running kit will keep you training and commuting with nary a care for the climes.

From jackets that regulate your core temperature to – ho ho – windproof boxers, to tights that reflect your body heat right back at you and reflective layers that ensure you’re seen but negate the need to dress like a 90s raver, here's the kit that'll make the winter less bleak.

On Running All-Weather Jacket and Pants

If you want something you can pull on to keep your warm trackside as well as being your go-to gear for wintry trails and long training runs then On’s all-weather kit is the ideal allrounder. 

\When it comes to waterproof layers most of us think of the top half first but once you’ve experienced the dreaded wet-legged thigh rub, it’s not a mistake you’ll make again. On’s running pants use woven panels coated with advanced durable water repellent on the quads – just where the rain hits – that double up as UV protection in warmer weather. Clever that. 

Waterproof doesn’t mean restrictive either as the cut and lightweight Japanese fabric allow the pants to move with you, rather than against. Team these with the weather-proof running jacket with tear-proof upper – great if you’re running off grid through trees and undergrowth – for full protection.

• On Running All-Weather Jacket, £190

• On Running All-Weather Pants, £135

Adidas Terrex Agravic Jacket With Polartec Alpha

Adidas’s outdoor collection Terrex makes gear that can withstand all-weather activities in the wilderness, so you know this hooded jacket is going to more than stand up to whatever the mean streets of Milton Keynes throw at you (other cities are available). 

Elasticated cuffs, adjustable waistband, high collar and hood mean those biting winds have no chance of sneaking in where you don’t want them, but the main draw her is the Polartec Alpha active insulation. Originally designed for the US special forces, the insulation uses lofted knit fibres to keep moisture moving and regulate your core temperature whether you’re working out or standing still and in changing weather conditions. 

• Adidas Terrex Agravic Jacket With Polartec Alpha, £119

Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket

Forget picturesque snowy streets, winter in the UK usually serves up a generous helping of driving rain, making a waterproof layer an essential component in your seasonal running arsenal. 

Until recently, water tightness meant bulky and restrictive fabrics, but Salomon’s Bonatti is the perfect blend of lightweight (200g) and weather resistant. 

Pertex Shield breathable, microporous waterproof coating protects and reduces condensation build up, a fitted hood will help keep the rain and wind from your eyes, and if the sun does happen to show it’s cheery face, then the jacket packs up into its own chest pocket for easy stowing.

• Salomon Bonatti Pro WP Jacket, £170.00

Nike Aeroloft

With a minimum of 90 per cent goose down in front and back insulating panels, the Aeroloft keeps you warm where you need it most. Warmth needn't mean restrictions; the wicking jersey side panels allow your arms to move freely and strategically placed perforations in the fabric means air can flow and you’re not going to overheat. 

For days when the rain is driving or the wind is biting, the close-fit hood is a bit of a godsend – pull the elastic tight to stop slippage. 

Machine washable, the insulation has a special coating to prevent the clumping you can get with some down jackets.

• Nike Aeroloft, £154.95

Runderwear Merino Brief

Wool underpants may sound like a 1950s boarding school punishment but trust us, this ethically sourced wool from the Merino sheep is soft, fine and completely itch-free. 

Runderwear’s wicking briefs are great for winter but you can wear them in warmer weather too as intelligent Thermocool technology keeps you snug when its cold and cool when you heat up. 

Seam-free fabric and flat lock edging negate the chafing risk, making these one of the comfiest pairs of pants you’ll run in.

• Runderwear Merino Brief, £25

North Face Brave the Cold Shirt

It’s not just a running top, it’s an order to get out there and take on the elements. A thermal layer that can be worn on it’s own or under a waterproof, this shirt can take pretty much anything that’s thrown at it. 

FlashDry fabric wicks away sweat to prevent you getting cold, while breathable panels stop you overheating, thumbholes keep hands warm and there’s a storm neck with wind-resistant panel so you can run headlong into that cyclone. 

What’s stopping you?

• North Face Brave the Cold Shirt, £80

Saucony Windproof Boxer

Well no one wants chilly bits do they? 

If you’re running in harsh conditions make sure you’re warm enough – everywhere – with wind-proofed briefs. The special windproof front panel keeps biting wind away from your extremities, while sweat-wicking fabric draws moisture away from your body while so fabric doesn’t rub or weigh you down. 

Flat seams mean you’re in for a blessedly chafe-free ride and the compression fit prevents rucking even under the tightest of tights.

• Saucony Windproof Boxer, £30

Salomon S-LAB Tights

Meet your favourite new race-day tight. Direct from Salomon’s S/Lab stable, the home of the brand’s most technically progressive products, they’re perfect for colder weather. 

The super-light, four-way stretch fabric features Ceramic Technology, which reflects your body heat back at you, keeping your legs from getting cold, and helping your muscles relax to reduce fatigue. 

No need to wait for aid stations either, as two pockets allow you to store your gels so you can power your way over that line. 

Salomon S-LAB Tights, £150.00 

Inov-8 Extreme Thermo Mitten

Hands are one of the first places to feel the cold when temperatures drop, so a decent pair of running gloves is a no-brainer. For serious snugness try the Inov-8 Extreme Thermo Mitten. 

Designed for running on snowy trails and mountain paths, the mittens feature Polartech Alpha insulation to regulate temperature and draw away moisture. Finger-tip padding means you can operate a touchscreen without exposing fingers to the elements (so you can always check for segments on Strava), and if you’re doing some serious mountain running or hiking, the silicone grip on the palms offers great traction when holding poles. 

These are the mittens of a serious adventurer… or perhaps someone tackling a rather chilly run commute.

• Inov-8 Extreme Thermo Mitten, £35

2XU Reflective Compression Tights

Making sure you’re seen on dark nights and misty mornings doesn’t have to involve head-to-toe neon. The reflective details on these tights ensure 360-degree visibility, meaning you can be seen from any angle. 

As well as looking as dazzling as a disco ball, you’re going to get some training benefits too. 2XU specialises in compression wear, and the graduated compression here supports your adductor, glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles as you run, meaning improved muscle alignment and less fatigue so you’ll recover faster for your next session.

• 2XU Reflective Compression Tights, £85

TooManyTShirts Custom Blanket

We're not recommending this for during a run, but it could keep you cosy afterwards. Each commemorative race t-shirt carries a precious memory. 

They’re a symbol of your achievements, a reminder of those times you pushed for a PB, overcame an injury, or kept going when you didn’t think your body would allow it. But what do you do when you’ve racked up dozens of them? Turn them into a “memory blanket” of course. 

With Too Many T-Shirts, you’ll post off your mementoes and they’ll return as a comfortable reminder of your running success, that’ll keep you cozy long after the knees have packed in.

• Memory Blanket, from £79

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

Forget sweaty trots around the block, Nike’s most advanced shoe for elite distance runners has the loftiest goal imaginable: cracking the 2-hour marathon. Vaporfly 4% pledges to deliver marathon runners a four percent boost in performance that, at the front of the pack, could see the current WR mark of 2:03:53 shaved to below two hours. 

The company’s efforts centre around a revolutionary new foam made from the same material featured in airplane insulation and a carbon-fibre plate Nike says will send your running economy into overdrive. These are $250 and pretty hard to come by, so catch them if you can.

Shelane Flanagan, the first American woman to win the New York Marathon in 40 years, had them on. So there’s that.

Inov 8 Thermoshell Jacket With Polartec Alpha

Another jacket that’s using Polartec Alpha active insulation to weather-defying effect, the windproof Inov-8 thermoshell is lightweight and breathable keeping you at the perfect temperature even in changing weather conditions. 

Throw it on and the clever insulation negates the need to shed and add layers every time the sun comes out or you encounter a steep hill. If you do want to remove it, it packs neatly up into itself. Handy that. 

• Inov 8 Thermoshell, £140

Stance Socks Subscription

All runners know that a 6-pack of M&S’ finest aren’t going to cut it when you’re pounding the trails three days a week.

The answer: a sock-scripton. Stance will send you new socks monthly or quarterly, tailored to your preferences. You can customize height and thickness (there’s plenty of choice, including over-knee and thick, and select running among your interests.

• Stance subscription socks, pricing varies

Stryd footpod

Do you feel the power? The second-gen Stryd footpod users the power metric to help elite athletes achieve a balanced pace throughout their race. 

Here’s how it works: the meter attaches to the shoelaces and gives users a power rating in wattage-per-step that’s relative to their max output. So, instead of powering up the hilly section to keep-up with the target pace they can maintain the target power reading rather than pushing a particular pace. 

The power reading can be accessed via a massive range of fitness trackers/watches, training platforms and iOS and Android smartphones.

• Stryd, £200

Flipbelt Zipper

The Flipbelt Zipper is like a sort of 1970s tourist's money belt, updated for running in the 21st century. It'll hold all of your valuables safe and in a non-jiggly fashion.

Thanks to the zipper compartment, three open access point and the key hook, your wallet, keys, valuables, passport and phone (yep, even the 6-inch behemoths) can all be stored safely and securely around your waist. 

The 92% micropoly, 8% lycra Flipbelt wicks away water from the skin and is quick drying. You can even chuck it in the washing machine and dryer. And it's reflective, which means it's not exactly the most discreet way to hide money, but it is safer on the winter nights.

• Flipbelt Zipper, from £25