Winter Running Gear from Head to Toe

Do you want to keep running during the cold winter months?


I have coach Whitney LaCombe from our Spark Healthy Runner coaching team from our Healthy Runner coaching team with me here today to share how you can dress for winter running success!


In this episode, coach Whitney shares what layers you need for running during the colder winter months providing you specific temperature zones.  You will learn our 3 cold weather running categories and how to dress from head to toe!


We’ll provide valuable insights on hats, ear warmers, mittens, jackets, and even the best running socks for cold weather running!


Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!



Watch the LIVE video version of this episode below on Youtube!



Spark Healthy Runner’s 3 Cold Weather Clothing Categories


COLD: 40-50 deg F/ 4-10 deg (Celsius)

COLDER: 20-40 deg/ -6 – 4 deg

COLDEST: < 20 deg F / > -6 deg Celsius


Gear from head to toe! 



Keeping your head and ears warm will make a huge difference in how cold you feel during your run! You can use a hat, like a beanie, or ear warmers. Coach Whitney prefers to wear ear warmers over a hat with a “bill” to keep the sun out of their eyes!



Even if you are wearing a jacket or vest that has a nice collar, wearing buff of a neck gaiter can help keep you warm. Coach Whitney lives in Arizona and she doesn’t typically wear one because she normally runs when it’s “warmer”. However, for those of you who live where it’s super cold, neck gear will definitely become one of your favorite items!!



Layers, layers, layers! Everybody loves layers! It is easy to take a layer off and tie it around your waist if you get too warm. Find a top that you really like and buy it in a couple sizes so you can layer. Coach Whitney loves her “momentum” tops from Athleta. There are little thumb holes that prevent the sleeves from riding up and it’s just an extra perk! Find something that works for you!

Try to avoid cotton and don’t wear a traditional sweatshirt! You will get soaked with sweat and then your sweat will get cold, and then you will be cold, and that will be a very unpleasant run.


Jackets/Running Vests

Coach Whitney prefers a vest over a jacket. She feels that she gets a little too hot in a full jacket. However, there are companies that make jackets specific for runners that have more breathable fabric and allow for more arm movement.

Find a vest that fits you well and has the things you’re looking for. Having pockets with zippers is a big plus! You can carry your phone, gels, or even your gloves and ear warmers if it gets too warm and you need to take them off.


Even though it’s cold, you still need hydration on your runs. Coach Whitney prefers wearing a hydration vest over handheld water bottles. Please make sure you are taking water or hydration mixes on your runs. Coach Whitney finds that wearing a hydration vest in the winter can be very beneficial. Not only do you have your water with you, but all those pockets as we mentioned previously. If it is very cold where you live, you may want to wear your hydration vest OVER a running vest or jacket.

Light vest & Lights for Safety

Make sure you are VISIBLE. Not only for other runners but for cars as well. Wear reflective clothing or even better, purchase a Noxgear light vest! This will make you BRIGHT so everyone can see you!

A lot of runners run early in the morning before work or before their kids wake up. This can be challenging in the winter months when it’s dark out. Make sure you have a light that you like so you can see where you are running.

Noxgear makes a light that can clip right into your light vest!



Gloves are good but MITTENS ARE BETTER! They allow for the fingers to warm each other! Coach Whitney has a pair of gloves that are also mittens. They have the mitten part separate so you can flip it over your mittens and have an extra layer. The outer layer is water and wind resistant which makes them nice and toasty.

Hand warmers are also an awesome addition to have for your cold weather running gear. Coach Whitney puts these in her mittens and they keep her hands and fingers nice and warm.


Tight leggings will keep you warmer than looser pants. A pair of microfleece leggings for your base layer are AMAZING! They will keep your legs nice and toasty. You can layer your pants and make sure you are choosing the right amount of layers for where you live. It all depends on how cold it is where you live and how tolerant you are of the cold!


During your cold runs, wear socks that are slightly higher than the sock you wear in the summer. Wear higher socks to keep your ankles warm!


When it comes to shoes in the cold, you don’t really need to do anything special. If it’s icy or slippery where you live, you may want to consider something extra. A lot of runners switch to trail shoes in the winter since they have extra tread which helps to grip the ground a little bit better. There are also “yak tracks” that you can strap onto your shoes if it’s too icy. However, be careful with these! They are designed to be worn if there is at least 1/2 of snow or ice.

Sponsored by…

A big thanks to ucan for your support for this episode!


Want to know how I fend off the cold weather comfort food cravings?  I fuel with Healthy Snacks  from UCAN during my work day!


Great for a breakfast boost, an afternoon pick-me-up or a pre-workout snack.  The granola and almond butter are all natural, keto-friendly, gluten-free and provide energy you need to get through your day and bring out your personal best during your training or after to enhance recovery.  


Click here and use code HEALTHYRUNNER for 20% off your entire UCAN order! 


If you have seen my early morning runs during the winter months on social media you know I am always staying safe and visible with my Noxgear Tracer2 and Tracer Lamp!


Run smarter by adding Noxgear’s powerful multi-color LED fiber optics with ultra-reflective 3M patterns and fluorescence to light up the path in front of you! 

Click here and use code HEALTHYRUNNER for 35% off your entire Noxgear order! 



There are six parts of your running journey that need to be optimized so you can run strong and last long! Learn them here: [Download] How to Grow as a Runner (6 Steps) 


Connect with Dr. Duane:

Dr. Duane Scotti, DPT, PhD, OCS is a running physical therapist, run coach, host of the Healthy Runner podcast, and founder of Spark Healthy Runner and has been a leader in the rehab and running community for 20+ years.


Duane initially started running as an adult, wanting to add some cardio to his gym sessions. After having a hip surgery, his doctor advised him to get off the treadmill and run outside. Without having fully recovered, Duane suffered a running-related hamstring tendon injury and many others as a novice runner.


As a coach, he has guided thousands of athletes back to running, finishing their first marathon, crushing a personal best, and even the elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time.


He is truly living his passion educating the running community that they don’t need to stop running to get over a running injury.  Through his signature 1:1 coaching program, weekly videos, and podcast episodes, he empowers runners to get stronger, run faster, and enjoy lifelong injury free running.  Dr. Duane truly believes that anyone can run and that all runners should be treated differently when recovering from an injury.  He is on a mission to change the traditional thinking that running causes “overuse injuries” or “your body is just not meant to run” and you must “take a break” to get better.  Through strength and run specific training you can grow a strong mind, strong body, and just keep running!


Duane received his Bachelor of Health Science degree and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University in 2001 and 2003. He then went on to receive a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2017. Duane is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, RRCA Certified Running Coach, Certified Mulligan Practitioner, certified in dry needling and has advanced training in spinal manipulation and rehabilitation for runners.


As an athlete, Duane is an adult-onset runner, avid half marathoner, and enjoys challenging himself to learn and grow in his personal running journey!


A native New Yorker from Long Island, Duane currently lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with his wife Deb and his two teenage daughters who are competitive volleyball players.  They all love to explore new beaches along the east coast.




Get weekly running tips on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!

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“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

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