Suggestions for winter jogging gear...

2:35 p.m. on September 27, 2010 (EDT)
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1 forum posts

Hi...I have recently taken up the wonderful past-time of jogging. As we are approaching winter the thought of giving up jogging for an aerobics video makes me cringe! I am hoping to acquire the gear I will need to continue my new found activity through the cold winter of Northern Michigan. Any suggestions as to the basic necessities? What shoes in particular are good? Michigan in winter can be crispy cold one day and the very next slushy and sunny. My schedule dictates that I run during the dark hours...is a headlamp good enough lighting?

I appreciate any thoughts and suggestions. Thanks!

2:53 p.m. on September 27, 2010 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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3,166 forum posts

Welcome to Trailspace! I run year round, including on trails, here in Maine.

Shoes: Depending on where you'll be running (on sidewalks or trails) and how much snow and slush there will be, I recommend using whatever shoes work for you, but consider a Gore-tex version. I know some will disagree with that, but I use the Gore-tex versions of my La Sportiva trail runners in winter.

Even if you don't go for Gore-tex or waterproof, I recommend a heavier shoe, with good traction. Now is not the time for light, breathable runners. Shoes are personal though, so get what works for you and seems reasonably warm.

Traction: Get some Microspikes, Yaktrax, or other traction devices for running on ice and snow (I'm a big fan of Microspikes).

I don't know how cleaned off the areas will be where you run, but it's easy to take a big digger on black ice and snow (I know from experience, having done this myself on trails).

Layers: Go with layers for running. You'll be warmer than you think (at least that's my experience). So use light to medium gloves and and a hat, sunglasses, and layers on top and bottom. You don't want to be overly sweating. I like tights or looser running pants, a 1/4 zip top, and maybe a vest or windshirt, depending on conditions.

Safety: I don't know where you'll be running, so I hesitate to say what safety measures you need to take. If you'll be on or alongside roads, go overboard with reflective items (vests, clothing, etc) and lights.

I would be wary of running at night on a road. If you must do so, do it with lots of lights on your front and back (you can get blinking safety ones that attach), plus a reflective vest, and try to stick to sidewalks, easy trails, or untraveled roads with very wide shoulders (I'm still not recommending this though. It's much harder for cars to see you in the dark than you'll think. I was surprised by a runner in the dark the other night, with just one headlamp on his front).

Another safety concern, if you'll be on roads at all: after or when it's snowing, remember that there will be snowplows out. You need to be careful and not get caught with one coming down toward you and you with nowhere to get out of the way.

Where to go: I recommend trails, if possible. I think it's fun to run in the snow. You can get running snowshoes for that if that works for the terrain you'll run on. If there isn't a lot of snow and the trail is packed, you may only need traction devices though.

But, even if you need to run on sidewalks, it's still great to get outside.

Hope this helps you get started.

Feel free to give us more background or ask more questions.

December 21, 2014
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