Best men’s winter running gear UK 2023: stay comfy outdoors with thermal running leggings, socks, jackets

Running gear for winter needs to be warm, stretchy, waterproof and sweat-wicking. These pieces tick all the boxes

Men’s winter running gear: thermal running leggings, socks, jackets
Men’s winter running gear: thermal running leggings, socks, jackets
Men’s winter running gear: thermal running leggings, socks, jackets

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Learning how to properly layer up is important for any winter activities, and running outdoors during the cold months is no exception. It’s vital to understand how your clothing is working to protect you and keep ensuring you can extract maximum effort out of your running performance, even when the going gets tough and the wind, rain and ice conspire against you.

For a few weeks, we’ve been putting some winter running gear through its paces, and some of the best options we tested are listed below. Unlike regular joggers, tracksuit bottoms or hoodies, thermal running gear is constructed using the highest grade material possible, often taking into account and utilising new technologies and fabrics to ensure the material is durable, quick drying, lightweight and flexible.

Good thermal running gear needs to be somewhat stretchy to enable fast movement, and thin enough to dry quickly whilst on the move. It also needs to not be too stifling - getting rid of excess sweat and warmth quickly, and at the same time, retaining enough of your own body heat to keep you moving in the cold weather and feel the benefits of a proper layering system.

Here are our recommendations for some of the best thermal running gear on the market.

Want to learning more about running?

Then get kitted out with the best men’s running gloves. We also have a round up of the best gym bags here, and best weight lifting trainers here.

A mixture of Merino Wool and synthetic fibres make these running leggings a stretchy option and one that encourages movement at the same time as being snug enough to trap heat.

Thanks to the fibres used, they are also naturally temperature regulating. There’s one side pocket and a zip safety pocket too, perfect for popping small valuables like keys while you’re out running.

The storm fit element of these trousers helps keep the weather out, but Nike knows a thing or two about how to create excellent sports wear for year round use, and we especially liked the adjustable side vents that have been perfectly positioned to keep you cool during your run.

The fit is comfortable and we could also easily see these being used as general day to day lounge wear as well as running kit.

One of the biggest hurdles when you’re out running in the dark weather is being seen by motorists and other pedestrians. That’s where the On Lumos range comes into its own - a collection of running gear that features reflective panels for high visibility and ultra-light credentials that mean packing it away is a breeze.

It’s a little more expensive that some of the other items on this list, but we’d highly recommend it if you’re serious about your winter running performance.

Much like the jacket from the Lumos range, featured above, we really liked the reflective qualities of the Lumos tights, and also found them very comfortable.

They’re snug and tight-fitting, but details such as stretchy knee panels help with movement and meshed leg vents also aid breathability. The lightweight meshed back pocket also is elasticated and big enough to hold your phone too, which is a nice touch.

New Balance Heat Technology is front and centre in the Acceptance NB Heat Half Zip - this is an attractive mid or over layer that uses a grid fleece material, which is soft to the touch, to radiate heat around your body.

The thumb loops on the long sleeves are a good feature and ensure complete coverage. Woven, zipped chest pockets also provide extra storage for longer runs - it’s made from 98% recycled material, too.

A slightly looser fit ‘jogger’ rather than outright running tights, we found these to be a really versatile addition to our sports gear - fitting perfectly into the lounge wear and general sports categories as well as being excellent for day to day running.

Much like the NB Grid Half Zip above, these joggers feature New Balance’s Heat Technology - the Herringbone Fleece Fabric with a woven overlay adds an additional level of comfort.

These are well thought out serious running tights - we’d highly recommend them for longer distances. Low-profile flat locked seams reduce the risk of abrasion and chafing dramatically, and the deep stretch waistband we found to be extremely useful in keeping the tights in place when you’re in full running motion. There are a few different pockets for storing essentially too, and for £34, we think these are good value for money.

Rather than being a base or mid layer, the Asics Winter Run jacket works for some of the most extreme conditions, being a warm, padded final layer between you and the cold.

A high neck keeps temperature regulated and importantly your neck warm when running in bitter conditions, and the full zip allows complete coverage. Reflective Asics branding a nice touch, too.