What to wear: winter running gear neuroticism


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I started writing this obnoxious post about winter apparel and the conundrum of what to wear and when. I even created the above gallery for it, but the post just became more obnoxious the further along I went AND stupid, so I stopped. (but I did feel compelled to include the clothing gallery since I created it damn it.)

I know the answer is always the same to these and other running conundrums – experiment and find what is comfortable for you. Same with shoes, pace, and just about everything else in life that’s relatively new.

Plus, running has become popular enough a sport that if I take the five minutes to search Google I’ll come up with some helpful links like this one from Runner’s World.

That site is literally all-encompassing and I feel so guilty using its many free features I feel a need to actually buy a subscription at some point. I haven’t yet, but I will. I swear.

But anyway, even with the basic guidance, what I was basically starting to write about before things got too dumb and deep and smarmy about brands was my anxiety about purchasing apparel and not liking it.

I hate returning clothing after I wore it, and let’s face it, running clothing isn’t cheap.

(Okay, maybe it’s not that terribly expensive either, but I’m cheap, at least when it comes to what I wear. I blame my father who sent me to school wearing cheep knit caps and told me I was setting a new trend if I complained.)

And I always want to fall into the trap that there is one particular brand that is the best, when really, once again, person preference and taste matter just as much (though honestly, I won’t be buying that off-brand Target shirt again that ended up unraveling after the third wear).

I know guys who swear by Nike or Under Armor or Mizuno or Adidas or whatever. I can never get a specific reason one is better than the other beyond, “it’s just what I like.” (For some I have a sneaking suspicion it’s just to look fashionable. For others not.)

I’ve also heard rants and raves about blends like wool and brands like Smart Wool, but that stuff is really expensive and I wonder if it’s worth it? (Though honestly, figuring out some kick ass socks to wear during this winter’s runs would be awesome. My toes really felt the chill during last years mid-February training campaign.)

And comparison shopping online isn’t a breeze either once you get a basic idea of the outfit.

Perhaps I would just be better off letting someone else pick out my clothes, but I think I’m a little too old for mom to pick out my running compression pants (gross) and I couldn’t stand to listen to my dad say, “See, I told you! Wool stocking cap! Trend setter!”

So, I’ll probably just go out, buy a garment or two and hope for the best. I just hope I don’t end up with something akin to those Adidas I bought before my marathon last year that made my feet swell, or that pullover that made me feel like I was in a toaster oven each time I wore it no matter the temp.

Okay, woe, hey, look, I still managed to write an obnoxious post about winter apparel. Yeah.

(Of course any suggestions in brands/clothing/places to buy would be appreciated in the space below.)

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3 thoughts on “What to wear: winter running gear neuroticism

  1. I use these under regular shorts, various moisture-wicking long-sleeved shirt things under t-shirts, a jacket like one of these, gloves and a hat. I have a balaclava for when it’s super cold, but I don’t like running in it.

    • Thanks for all the great suggestions Scott. Inexpensive too. The long compression pants will be a great addition this year and I bought a nice thermal running jacket too, compared to the pullover that was always too heavy and hot, even for cold runs.

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