Wintertime Running and The Warmest-Ever Leggings




My Christmas-day tradition, as long as I can remember, has involved a long, slow run on Marquette’s snow-covered streets.  I’d carefully stutter-step my way down the street – shortening my stride to match the icy, snow-covered roads – and marvel at the quiet.  Marquette, the town where I grew up, is a picturesque little town located on the southern shore of Lake Superior.  It’s a stunningly beautiful yet harsh place to live, the winters unrelenting in both frigid cold and lake-effect snow.


When I was younger, I’d simply wear running tights under a pair of giant sweatpants, and layer several running jackets on top of each other.  A hat, the warmest mittens I could find, and sometimes a scarf across my face – the bitter cold has a way of pulling your breath from your lungs.

These days you’ll find me in….slightly more technical clothing, which is a definite improvement from the 90’s.  Now I like long-sleeve running shirts with thumbholes and a lightweight packable down jacket (I’ll take sweaty over freezing any day), and the warmest-ever leggings.  I don’t know why it took me so long to discover these things – several brands make them – but these running tights are thicker than average, and brushed on the inside so they feel fleece-lined.












Outfit Details

hat: camo cashmere beanie

running turtleneck: Free People Movement turtleneck (hello, thumbholes)

jacket: old UA Storm jacket…similar Patagonia puffer on sale at Overstock

mittens: First Snow Mittens

running tights: Lululemon Toasty Tech Tight II

shoes: Nike frees (with these smartwool socks)


Below are three winter running outfits that make me swoon.  The formula, for each, is the same:  thick, brushed tights, a long-sleeve top, a seriously cool (and functional) jacket, and quirky-yet-warm hats and mitts.  Philly doesn’t get enough snow to warrant trail running shoes, but if I lived in Michigan, I would probably swap my Nikes out for one of the pairs below (they make trail running look so. good.)


1. New Balance Heat Hybrid Jacket, $179 (down-like panels and thumbholes – also comes in black or bright red)

2. Nike Pro Warm 3.0 Brushed Running Tight, $37

3. Athleta Cashmere Cable Knit Beanie, on sale for $47

4. Mukluks Snowflake Mittens, $32

5. Outdoor Voices Hoodie, $85

6. Adidas Response Trail Boost Running Shoe, $109


1. Patagonia Prow Water Repellant Jacket, on sale for $149  (you can see this jacket on Scotti, here)

2. UA Coldgear Legggings, $45 (love the unexpected army green – so good)

3. Black beanie with pom, $6

4.  Cable Knit Mittens, $35

5. Nike Pullover, $110

6. Nike Roshe Flyknit, $120


1. New Balance Beacon Running Top, $120

2. UA Coldgear Printed Leggings, $48 (love how the side panels slims visually)

3.  J.Crew Neon Beanie

4. North Face Metropolis Heat Seeker Mittens, $60 (no matter how sweaty I am, my hands are ALWAYS cold, even at the end of the run.  I might have to try these.)

5. UA Cozy Popover, $120 on sale (obsessed with this one)

6. Adidas Response Trail Boost Running Shoe, $109 (so freaking cool)






  1. Shana, we’re on the same posting wave length girl! While I didn’t post about running leggings–I can’t run, yet. (Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to after the hip repair I did this fall, BUT I have begun walking–in the form of quick little exercise jaunts–just this week! So, one (small) milestone at a time, right?) I did just post about making sure to have a good pair of fleece lined tights or leggings WITH a heat inducing turtleneck as the underings (you coined that one–love it!) in order for some semblance of style in the cold, snowy weather.

    I love your posts Shana. I love it when I check in and there’s a freshy from you–has happened three times this week! Woot woot!

    So cool that you’re a runner. I’d love to be but as they say, I’ll take one step at a time…. (Meh!)

    Oh! One more thing: you look lovely in pink. 😀

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

  2. I can second the Nike Pro Warm tights. Heaven on a super cold morning. I haven’t had the pleasure of wearing them in mounds of snow, but they’ve kept me comfortable in 15 degree temps while weightlifting (I got sweaty for sure). I have a few other brands’ cold weather tights, but I find myself washing my Nike tights over and over and over again when it’s cold out. They’ve held up remarkably well.

    • I would love any indication on the length of these tights? I’m a tall person and have a hard time finding running pants that don’t look like I’m expecting a flood. (i.e.: I have NO run pants that fit me properly! 🙁 The website doesn’t list the inseam length so while they sound awesome, the review by 5’1″ runners fitting into them make me afraid to purchase and be let down again! TIA 🙂

      • And following up – the Nike site has a super cool feature to chat with a customer service person about a given product and it was incredibly helpful! In case anyone else wondering I was told that the small inseam would be 31.2 in and the medium 31.5 inches.

        • I’m 5’9″ and wear Athleta “tall” they are perfect. They are longer in the crouch area too so they don’t ride down, ever since I discovered them I don’t buy any other brand.

        • I’m way late on this (I’ve been out of the country), but I’m 5’8″ and I have medium and small. Both seem to fit me in the length just fine. There is a tiny trip of skin that shows between my no-show socks and the bottom of the tights, but they are so warm that this is a nonissue for me. I hope this helps!

  3. It sounds like we might have enough snow in Philly this weekend to warrant new shoes! You may need to add them to your list of essentials to get for the snow storm! Haha!

  4. Love this! Of course I’m now 7 months pregnant so my winter running gear is some hodgepodge mess of stuff, but this is very helpful for restocking next year.
    And we’ll see about that Philly snow… although I predict this is a bust like all the others. 🙂

  5. I love my Athleta fleece-lined running tights that I have three pairs (refuse to do laundry more than once a week, and I get too stinky running to re-wear). Also good for under ski pants, or for walking dogs. Smartwool and Road Runner make nice merino shirts.

  6. I’d agree that you definitely need yaktrax for running in the snow! I also look for shoes that are more leather than mesh, in case I hit a slushy spot- cold and wet feet are the worst! I’m originally from Sault Ste Marie, and live in Philly, and I’ve loved knowing how to dress with ‘the big guns’ even for Philly snow.

    My most important addition to your post is that most people swear by three distinct layers for your top half (and sometimes for your bottom half too! You need one base over your sports bra that will wick any moisture away from your body, then one insulating vest or jacket layer (this could be fleece maybe, or sometimes strategically placed down), and then a windproof and maybe also waterproof layer. This allows you to switch out one layer at a time to get incrementally watmer/cooler, or to swap out one if it gets smelly or old, instead of having to make one big investment that leaves you with less flexibility.

    There are these head running gloves that are sold at costco, that have the etip for using your phone- I swear they are the best for keeping my hands warm once they’ve gotten sweaty and then are in danger of freezing. I’ll frequently wear two buffs- one around my neck/chin and one around my head, under my hat. Smearing vaseline all over any exposed face skin also helps me to avoid windburn and any cold-induced redness. For longer runs, make sure to put your phone, gels, and hydration inside your insulation layer so they dont freeze! Awkward camelback humps under your coat aren’t cute, but its better than having a frozen brick strapped to your back. Finally, remember to wear extra reflective pieces and maybe even a headlamp when running in the dark!

  7. You missed my favorite cold weather running gear: UA Heatgear tights and Mizuno Breath Thermo socks. The socks get warmer when they are wet (sweaty or snow/slush) and are the real deal. Total magic! Mizuno makes other BT products, but I haven’t tried them. (And I third the rec for Yaktrax.)

  8. Thanks for this, I hate being cold in winter time. You look great, Shana. I mean, you always do! But, you just really look so great in this post. What is your workout routine like? I know now that you run and do barre classes, and ski? haha, is that all? What is your secret? I think I need to switch up my weekly work out schedule. haha

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