Running and staying in shape in the cold doesn’t have to be a drag. Gear up with Smartwool and stock up on winter running socks, apparel, and accessories so you can get that extra mile!

Layering is key to running comfortably in the winter. Cold temperatures and dry air can aggravate and cause some health conditions, and we want you to be prepared. However, due to these risks, it is important to use your best judgment on whether or not you should be running outside or at the gym.       

Smartwool apparel and accessories are perfect for winter runs because they’re made of soft, warm Merino wool. Merino wool is a durable and breathable fabric that can hold up to 30% of its own weight in moisture without even feeling wet, which will help keep you cozy on your run. Learn more about Merino wool here.         

Body Temperature & What You Should Be Wearing    

Remember that once you get moving your body will heat up fast. This is another reason it’s great to dress in layers because you can shed them easily as you get warmer. You can tie layers around your waist or do a loop run so you can drop them off at your car or in a designated spot without stopping or taking a long break.  

Since your body will be heating up fast, it’s important to calculate the temperature at which your body will run at so you can dress appropriately. As a general rule, you should add 10 to 20 degrees to the outside temperature to calculate the temperature it will feel like while your running. This varies by body size, your running pace, and the length of your run. Use your best judgment on whether or not you should add 10-15 degrees or 20 degrees.  

Depending on the outside temperature and what your projected running temperature is, your layers may be a bit different. Here is our general guide on what to wear:

  • For warmer winter temperatures (30-39 degrees—feels like 40-59 degrees) you’re going to want a long sleeve, tights, gloves, and a headband. For 40-49 degree days (feels like 50-59 degrees) switch it up with shorts or a t-shirt instead of a long sleeve or tights.  
  • For 20-29 degree days (feels like 30-49 degrees) you’re going to want to layer a bit more with two shirts, either a short sleeve and a long sleeve or a long sleeve and a jacket. You can pair this with tights, gloves and a headband as well.
  • Now we’re into the more chillier winter temperatures. On 10-19 degree days (feels like 20-39 degrees) you’re going to want two layered shirts of your choice, tights, a windbreaker jacket and/or pants, gloves and mittens, and a headband or hat. For any temperatures colder than 10 degrees, follow these same guidelines but add a balaclava to cover and protect your face.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about wind chill! If the outside temperature is 30 degrees and it’s reported to feel like 20 degrees due to the wind chill, you’re going to want to add 10 to 20 degrees to the “feels like” temperature.  

Winter Running Gear

Men’s PhD Ultra Light Long Sleeve Shirt (and Women) - $80.00

Featuring our quick-drying Ultra Light fabric, this top is primed for sweaty workouts. The temperature regulating and moisture managing properties of Merino team up with polyester for greater stretch and recovery and quicker dry time than Merino alone. Men's-specific mesh panels increase breathability.

Women’s PhD Tight (and Men) - $110.00

You don't head inside when the mercury drops, so you need gear to keep you warm and comfortable when you're out giving it your all. No-stink Merino next to skin works to regulate temperature and manage moisture, while a nylon facing works to keep the weather at bay.

Women’s PhD Seamless Strappy Bra - $60.00

Keep up the pace without moving the girls out of place. Ideal for medium impact, this bra provides all the no-stink, temperature regulating and moisture managing benefits of Merino next to skin. Softly lined adjustable straps offer customizable stability.

Men’s PhD Light Long Sleeve (and Women) - $85.00

Welcome to your new favorite cool-weather shirt. It comes with head-out-the-door motivation build right in. Smartwool's PhD Light Long Sleeve uses a warmer Merino-polyester blend that’s expert at moving moisture away from your body quickly while you’re working out. When you’re done, hang it up and it will dry quickly. Designed specifically for men, mesh panels target male sweat patterns for great breathability. Merrow seam construction ensures a gentle feel and long-haul durability.

Women’s PhD Light Printed Wind ½ Zip (and Men) - $120.00

For blustery weather hiking or running, pull on Smartwool's PhD Light Printed Wind 1/2 Zip. You'll be glad you did. Made with a warmer Merino-polyester blend, sweat moves quickly and efficiently away from your skin. The fabric helps regulate body temperature so you can focus. Meanwhile, a windproof front panel holds back the wind and keeps you comfortable. Fast drying so it'll be ready tomorrow. Minimal Merrow seam construction is soft and durable for ultimate comfort next to skin.

Men’s Corbet 120 Jacket - $200.00

Want to cover some ground in the cold? Designed from the inside out, the Corbet 120 starts with Merino next to skin, adds heavyweight 120g SmartLoft insulation for ultimate warmth, and is topped off with a DWR-finished nylon facing to foil the wind.

Women’s Propulsion 60 Jacket - $180.00

Howling wind and blustering snow? You're still gonna run. With smart features like Merino lining, easy-moving sleeves and back panel and a DWR finish, the Propulsion 60 multitask while you're on the move.

Women’s PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks (and Men) - $20.95

Sometimes you just need a good run. The PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew will get you out the door and help you stay outside longer. The 4 Degree elite fit system keeps the sock in place so you can focus on the stride ahead. The narrower profile design proves perfect for women's feet.

PhD Graduated Compression Ultralight Socks - $49.95

Make it an instant repeat with the powerful combination of performance-enhancing Merino and recovery-enhancing compression. We've stocked these socks with smart features like Indestructawool™ technology for ultimate durability, our 4 Degree® elite fit system, mesh ventilation zones and our signature Virtually Seamless™ toe.

Check out the benefits of compression for runners here.

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PhD HyFi Training Headband - $30.00

You know Smartwool's PhD line - Now experience it in a headband! Don't feel like committing to a whole beanie? Who are we to question you. Give this PhD headband a try instead. Same wool. Same ear protection. All on a new level of awesome.

PhD HyFi Wind Training Glove - $50.00

The weather outside may be frightful, but you're going to run anyway: protect your hands and stay out there longer. The windproof back of the hand keeps the gusts from slowing down your run, while touchscreen compatibility helps you keep in touch without exposing your fingers. Silicone dots on the palm help you get a grip and reflective hits increase visibility on after-work group runs.

PhD Insulated Training Glove - $60.00

The first law of winter training: frigid fingers are no fun. Pull on the Smartwool solution: PhD Insulated Training Glove. Great for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and even cold-weather running thanks to a terry loop knit Merino blend lining.

PhD HyFi Hinged Balaclava - $45.00

For cold and windy days, don't forget to cover the bits of your face left exposed by a hat and gaiter.

Pro Tip 1: If it’s a cold windy day, try to run into the wind on your way out so you have your wind at your back towards the end of your run. It’s best to avoid running into the wind whenever possible if you are wet and sweaty because you will chill very quickly.      

Pro Tip 2: Once you stop running in cold temperatures, you will also chill very quickly. Be prepared to get out of your wet clothes as soon as you can upon finishing your run. A hot shower is even better!

Be careful and watch out for ice! Happy running and stay warm!              

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