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How do you run outside all winter?

We love this question! Since the temperatures dropped last week we've been asked it. A lot.

Running outdoors in the winter can be magic-- it makes you tougher, it feels like a huge accomplishment, its more fun than treadmill miles, it makes winter go by quicker... but figuring out the right gear is a challenge. Let us help!

On the top:

Let’s start with your outermost layer. You’ll want something that is wind and water resistant. Blocking the wind is the number 1 way to stay comfortable outdoors all winter. This doesn’t need to be a bulky jacket-- this layer is for keeping the cold air out. The warmth will come from the layers you wear underneath. Thin jackets are also more versatile for the ever-changing Michigan weather. You can add or remove base layers to accommodate any temperature shift.

We love the Canopy Jacket that Des wore when she won the Boston Marathon. If you tend to run a little hot regardless of the weather or want more venting on your arms for hard workout days we recommend adding a vest to your winter running gear. 

"Vests are the unsung hero of winter running. I have a couple different ones and I choose those over a jacket on almost every run."

RUNdetroit Staff

 In the middle:

Now that you’re keeping the cold air out, we want to add warmth and coziness with those next-to-skin base layer(s).  Our Performance Long Sleeve is ideal for layering as the temps dip. For the in-between days layering a summer tank top with a long sleeve and/or a jacket/vest will give you that extra warmth without overheating.

When it really starts to get cold we reach for our Breath Thermo. These deceptively warm pieces have a magical fabric that generates heat as you move and sweat. They are ideal for layering on those really cold days and can stand alone during the transition season.

On the bottom:

Things get a little simpler below the belt. Tights are going to keep you a lot warmer than looser fitting pants but we do carry both! 

RUNdetroit Staff

"Because tights fit close to the body they are able to trap body heat and keep it next to your skin."

Around here each of us have a few tights in different weights to match the conditions and the workout. Janji’s
Groundwork tight is a great weight for fall and has tons of pockets. As temps dip or the winds pick up (we're obsessed with the Real Feel in our weather apps) we’ll reach for Breath Thermo again. Once it gets downright frigid, out come the heavyweight, fleece-lined options like the Momentum Thermal tight.

Just like with tights, we have an assortment of hats and gloves in different weights to keep us comfortable in a variety of conditions.

"If I’m doing a hard workout I’m going to wear lighter weight layers than I would on an easy run day with the same temperature."

RUNdetroit Staff


On the very bottom:

Frozen toes are not happy toes!

Some of our most popular shoes are available with a
Gore-Tex (wind and water resistant) upper like the Brooks Ghost and New Balance 880.

Similar to Gore-Tex is Saucony’s
Run Shield, a weather resistant upper with a super-lux fleece liner.

"There's no bad weather, only bad gear

You can run outdoors even on sub zero degrees fahrenheit days (-18 for our Canadian friends). It’s just a matter of finding the layers that work for you. We'd love to help! Bring in a piece of clothing that's not keeping you warm enough (or that's making you too warm) and let us show you some other options! 


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Free Shipping on Orders Over $75
Group Run Saturdays 8am