Winter running and fitness kit
It's that time of year when going for a run or getting on your bike can be a bit more of a struggle. The fear of those cold, wet, windy, rainy and dark nights is enough to send you scuttling for train or sticking snugly to your sofa. But a bit of good old fashioned pre-climate change British inclemency doesn't have to be an excuse to hibernate.
Thanks to the clever innovators kicking out brilliant new fabrics that keep you warm, dry and brilliantly visible, you can keep up your training and commuting without a care for the weather.
From ear warmers to rapid drying running shoes, storm-proof jackets to climate control base layers, here are ten bits of gear that'll make the winter less bleak.
Nike Shield Flash Max Running Jacket • £400
The Oregon squad's best attempt yet at protecting you from the elements while you rack up the road miles. Nike's heavy-duty Storm-FIT 5 fabric blocks the wind and rain while letting heat escape for breathable comfort. This is topped off with a Dri-Fit fabric lining to help with sweat management, and 360-degree reflective checker-dot camo pattern to increase visibility in low light – a welcome change from last year's polka dot design.
X-Bionic Apani • £170
X-Bionic has combined its famous heat management technology with 100 per cent natural fabric to create the ultimate performance baselayer when it's chilly out. Apani takes merino wool and gives it intelligent sweat management by weaving it into a complex 3D design. The result is a baselayer that dries, cools and warms exactly when and where your body needs it. Finally, strategically placed SweatTraps absorb excess sweat, leaving only a thin layer of moisture to help with cooling. Lovely.
Assos Fugu S7 gloves • £92
A good pair of cycling gloves is essential when temperatures start to drop and there's not much better than the Fugus S7. The three-layer construction is lined with windproof and breathable membranes in between a soft insulating inner layer and resilient outer layer. It has the feel of a high-level ski glove but without the bulk for total dexterity, and fits comfortably under arm warmers and other close-fitting clothing.
180s Exolite Sonic Ear Warmer • £16
Unlike you, your regular gym buds won't keep your ears toasty while also kicking out tunes. So you should invest in a music mate that can. With QuantamSound high definition speakers and QuantumHeat fabric that wicks moisture and captures body heat to keep you dry and warm, the ultra-thin, ultra lightweight 180s Exolite Sonic Ear Warmers are THE headphones to keep you warm and entertained during winter runs and rides.
ASICS Windstopper Tights • £75
Designed with Gore's Windstopper technology, this running tight protects you against the wind and rain while you run. Built with a soft, stretchable fabric for optimal comfort while exercising, it is the industry's most effective chill neutraliser, with flatlock stitching to minimise the risk of chafing, excellent moisture management to keep your skin dry, and zippers on the lower leg hems for quick access. There's a waterproof pocket for your essentials meaning all you have to worry about is moving your legs.
Adidas Climaheat Running Fleece • £90
Does exactly what is says on the tin: optimised for running, engineered to keep you warm. Made from hollow fibre materials inspired by natural fur, it offers warmth without eating into freedom of motion – the running bit. The hollow fibres are quick drying and it has a unique heat seal construction inside the garment's neck and cuffs that keeps air in while blocking out cold, ice and snow – the staying warm bit.
Mammut MTR 71-II Low Men running shoe • £80
It might be pared down to the essentials but the MTR 71-II trail shoe is no slouch when it comes to taking on adverse weather conditions. Its open-pored and robust vent mesh allows for effective ventilation but also rapid drying time so it doesn't feel like you're wading through water on rainy days. Then the patented Mammut Rolling Concept and gripex Sonar sole technology also guarantee a secure grip on slippery surfaces.
Osprey Rev 6 • £54
The Osprey Rev 6 is the ideal commuter running mate: efficiently designed, spacious enough to fit a few items for the trip to and from the office and loaded with the latest tech to make it sit comfortably on the run. It features a lightweight 1.5L Hydraulics LT Reservoir, a BioStretch body-wrap harness with stabilisation wings and a body-belt that all combine to create a figure hugging fit and less pack roll while moving. There's also a TPU film DigiFlip pocket so you can use your phone on the go and a rain cover for when things get a little drizzly.
Aquapac bike-mounted phone case • £50
It wouldn't make the James Bond gadget list but Aquapac's submersible phone cases could be the difference between life and death for your smartphone when you're biking. Made from a special TPU plastic, it's thin enough for you to use your touchscreen, and talk and hear through, while remaining 100 per cent waterproof, as well as keeping out any dust and dirt.
Inov-8 Race Ultra Racepant • £45
Weighing in less than an iPhone 6 and infinitely better in wet weather is inov-8's lightest-ever,sub-100gwaterproof trouser. Designed for mountain and ultra athletes wanting to race as light and fast as possible, this trouser is fully transparent and instantly stretchable to fit over shoes. Features taped seams, Lycra-bound hems and can be quickly compressed into its internal pocket. Does look kinda weird, admittedly.