How to Continue Running Through the Midwest Winter


Midwest weather can be brutal. We can get extreme heat/humidity in the summers, and extreme cold and feet of snow in the winter. The 2018 winter was rough between the arctic temperatures at the beginning of January where temperatures didn’t make it out of the negatives and the foot of snow that came down during the second weekend of February; a lot of our runs had to be indoors on the treadmill. However, this winter I have been challenging myself to get outdoors more even when it has been cold (within reason; I won’t run outdoors in the negative temperatures because I don’t think it’s safe/I have a hard time breathing in it). I have been able to do this by learning how to dress appropriately for the weather and have a few “go-to” items for staying warm on these cold winter runs.

Base Layer

  • I run in a C9 base layer that you can find at Target in their activewear section. This helps wick the sweat and keep it from clinging to your body and making you colder.

Fleece Pullover

  • I usually pick one with a turtleneck to keep me even warmer but the fleece lining helps insulate you to keep you warmer.

Fleece-Lined Wind Breaker

  • This helps block the wind on particularly cold days. Even the slightest bit of wind on a winter day can send chills down your body so I think it’s better to overdress and be warm than to be shivering. My favorite one is from New Balance and they don’t currently carry it, but the one linked here is similar because it has the soft outer shell for breaking the wind but is fleece lined to keep you warm.

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North Face Gloves

  • These gloves were not cheap at $55 but they have been well worth the investment. These are the first pair of gloves I’ve worn to run in that keep my hands warm without having to wear mittens. I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome where my fingers will go numb and get very pale after I get inside from my run so a really good quality pair of gloves minimizes this. My only gripe about these is that they have to be hand washed so I typically rinse them off and hang them up to dry after a run.

Panther Vision Hat with LEDs

  • This hat is fleece-lined so it keeps me warm and it doubles as a headlamp to light the path in front of me on early morning or night time runs. The lights also make me more visible to drivers on the road that I’m sharing!


Winter Weather Tights

  • My favorite pair is made by Sugoi and are fleece-lined and wind-blocking. However, I also own a pair from Target that are nicer to my wallet. If you can make the investment though, I recommend at least one pair of higher quality running tights. They make a huge difference in keeping your legs warm.

Wool Socks/Ski Socks

  • I run in my regular running shoes even through the winter so it is essential to have a warmer sock on since the wind comes straight through the mesh in your shoes. I recommend wearing socks that come up over your ankle in the winter to keep the cold out; it’s the worst feeling to have space between where your running tights hit and where your socks end because you’ll feel the cold as soon as you step out the door! Ski socks keep my feet extra warm on those sub-zero days, but they don’t fit in all my shoes so I sometimes use a pair of thinner wool socks. My favorite pair is from Balega.


Please note the above opinions are all my own. I did not receive compensation for my post. I was gifted the Panther Vision Hat after posting a picture wearing another hat that I had purchased from them last year.

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