Having a hard time figuring out how to surprise that special runner in your life? Our holiday gift guide takes the guesswork out of giving. Choose the profiles that fit the runners in your life for great gift ideas. Also check out our Women’s Gift Guide for more ideas. Read more…
Hey, Northern Hemisphere runners, notice that it’s getting colder? Your favorite split shorts just aren’t going to cut it anymore. It’s time to call in the heavy artillery of lower-body running clothing: Tights.
We’ve put together a list of five tights to keep you running warm this winter. Don’t worry – these aren’t the tights your girlfriend wears to yoga class. These high-tech running tights provide the best protection from winter that science currently offers.
The name of the 2XU Sub Zero Run Tight pretty much speaks for itself. In case you don’t get it, these tights were made for sub zero (a.k.a. freezing) conditions. You know the scene in the movie Titanic where everyone is cold and frozen while sitting in lifeboats/lying on floating doors waiting to be rescued? You won’t feel like those people while running in these tights, thanks to a brushed interior and a front wind-proof panel.
Ever notice how wind can have a funny way of taking a mildly cold day and making it feel downright frigid? Probably not, because you’re too busy rocking the New Balance NBx WindBlocker Tight. Thermal fleece lining throughout and front wind blocking panels will keep you running even when the cold and heavy winds try to say no. And who wouldn’t like the stretch mesh panels on the back to keep you super mobile?
This winter, don’t let the cold hold you down. It’s time to make a stand against the oppression of low air temps and run a free man! The Pearl Izumi Ultra Windblocking Tight is the perfect weapon to rebel against winter conditions, with warm thermal lining and wind-resistant paneling. Waterproofing treatment on the lower legs guards from puddle splashing, and side holster pockets provide quick and easy access to your pistols energy gels.
Look outside. See that? That’s snow on the ground. Good thing you’ve got the Sugoi SubZero Zap Tight for this run you’re about to go on. This tight features a thick, thermal inner lining to protect you from the biting cold, and with a weather-resistant DWR coating, you won’t have to worry about kicking up snow all over your legs. Don’t waste your time sitting by the fireplace – you’ve got a run to tackle.
Think we can put together a blog post on high tech running apparel without mentioning Salomon? Puh-lease. Salomon is the frontrunner in futuristic, ultra-functional apparel for the serious athlete. The Salomon EXO III Tight does more than just keep you warm in cold conditions; EXO Sensifit Agility technology provides muscle and postural support to keep you upright and running, long after fatigue arrived thinking it could slow you down.
When you’re shopping for running tights, chances are that the first thing on your mind is finding a tight that will handle the temperatures you need it to and offer the mobility, breathability, storage and other key features you want.
But right there in the back of your mind, of course, is that little angel/devil who wants to make sure you look good in whatever you choose. Nevermind that many of the miles you spend in these tights will be in dark, rainy, and let’s face it – unfashionable – conditions. The bottom line is you still need to look good!
If knowing you look like a million helps you charge the road or trail like the rock star you are, check out a few of the running tights we carry that bring on the tech without even a whiff of frump:
Brooks Utopia Thermal Tight – Warmth without weight and bulk means you can run fast and look good doing it. The tech here is all in the Vapor Dry fabric, a polyester/Spandex blend that’s on the lighter side for the heat retention it provides. The high waistline creates a pleasing shape, and several of us in the office here really appreciated the flattering cut of the panels.
High Feature Haute Couture
Pearl Izumi Ultra Tight – You’ll feel like a sexy action hero (think Lara Croft) in these high-tech tights. Why? For starters, you can store gels or other items in the trick “holster” pockets on the rear hips. Plus, waterproof calf and ankle panels and a gusseted crotch for increased range of motion mean you’ll be able to outrun the baddies no matter the terrain or conditions.
Stone Cold Fox
The North Face Winter Warm Tight - This tight is your friend if you want to look hot when the weather is anything but. A protective layer for your coldest runs, the Winter Warm Tight has thick fabric and a fully brushed interior, but it manages to avoid looking bulky. In fact, the thicker fabric on this tight actually does a nice job of shaping us in all the right places.
The Elements of Style
Nike Element Thermal Tight – It’s hard to look much more sleek and speedy than you will in this tight. The water-resistant lower leg also helps you look smart, not soaked, when you trudge your way through rain, slush and snow. This tight is available in lengths so you can get a more custom fit.
Finding the right baselayer is clutch when it comes to preparing for winter running. A good baselayer is more than just another running shirt – it provides additional warmth and wicks moisture like a champ to minimize chafing and rapid temperature swings during your run. So don’t just throw on any baselayer – pay attention to a few key aspects for the best possible performance. Shop our Men’s and Women’s Running Baselayers to find the right piece for your upcoming winter runs.
It’s a good idea to look for a more fitted running shirt when choosing a baselayer. Wicking moisture away from the skin is one of the primary purposes of a baselayer, so it’s best to have a lot of skin contact with the garment. Having a close-to-body fit is also nice because it allows you to easily layer without bulkiness or bunching in more inclement weather conditions.
In a baselayer, the location of the seams is almost as important as the type of seams. For example, if a seamline is placed directly across your elbow, it will likely chafe on a long run no matter how nice the seam is. A seamline that is placed along the side of your arm will be much more comfortable. Some runners find that raglan sleeves help to minimize chafing in the shoulder and armpit area.
Synthetic fabrics and certain blends of wool (typically merino, for it’s softness) offer the best moisture management. The fabric type and thickness of a baselayer will differ depending on the weather conditions for which the piece was designed. If you’re going to be in very cold conditions, try a baselayer with thicker fabric and a closer weave. For more moderate temperatures, a thinner piece will serve well. To help you judge what will work best, we list temperature ranges on the product page of each baselayer we carry.
Some of Our Faves
We asked a couple of RW employees to tell us about their favorite baselayers.
“I like the Craft Active Extreme Crew. It’s super soft and very fitted. I like baselayers to be really fitted, so that there are no folds in the fabric. This baselayer is great for extremely cold conditions” – Joanna
“When I use a baselayer, I prefer a sleeveless option like the Under Armour HeatGear Sleeveless to maintain maximum mobility in the arms, while regulating core warmth.” – Taro
“I’ve found that the Mizuno Breath Thermo Stretch Crew is like your own personal microwave for your body. It’s noticeably warmer than other fitted long sleeves of similar thickness.” – Matt
To help you choose the right winter outerwear for your runs this season, we recently brought you The Great Gear Guide: Winter Jackets. If you’re still trying to choose a jacket for cold and wet conditions, check out the quick product videos we’ve put together on a few of our most popular jackets.
These videos will show you the fit of the pieces, their design details and some of their standout technical features. To view a product video for a particular jacket, first navigate to the product page. Then click on the blue “RW Videos” link below the product image, as highlighted in the screenshot at right.
Watch all the videos in the playlist below. If you still want more info after you watch a jacket video, check out the “Product Details” tab on the jacket’s product page.
Introducing the Great Gear Guide, Running Warehouse’s rundown of some top choices in running gear. First up: winter running jackets. What do you need to keep your runs comfortable in the rain, sleet, snow and other assorted muck this winter season? Read on for our picks.
Ah, that delightful, crisp fall air. Except wait a minute, I’m feeling a bit too nippy out here. That’s where the Asics Thermopolis LT Full Zip comes in. The fully peached interior retains heat, and mock neck adds extra coziness. Zip up or down to adjust to just the right temperature.
Others to consider:
- Nike Element Thermal Full Zip
- Salomon Men’s XA Midlayer
- Salomon Women’s Swift Full Zip Midlayer
It’s a dry day, but it’s cold as the dickens. And we all know how cold the dickens can be. Avoid becoming dickensian on your run when you zip up the Sugoi Firewall 180. Intense thermal properties and soft fully brushed interior make this jacket a cold weather champ. Two generous front storage pockets allow you to carry A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times, or other essentials for your run.
Others to consider:
- Zoot Ultra WRKSnano Thermocell Jacket
- Brooks Utopia Thermal Hooded Jacket/Hoodie II
- Saucony T-Grid RX Fleece Read more…
The twins. The girls. Cha chas. Tatas. Gazongas. … alright, maybe we’re getting a little breast-obsessed. But when it comes to running, a properly fitting supportive sports bra just might be the most important piece of gear a woman can own, so the ladies here at RW have your, er… breast interests at heart.
We’re blowing out some of our favorite sports bras so you can set up your set with some security. Fit is one of the most important features in a sports bra, so start by learning how to find your fit. Next, you’ll need to think about the level of support you need. This will depend on your size and the impact level of the activity you’re doing.
Running is a high impact activity, and different styles of bra work better for women of different shapes and sizes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve reviewed a few top performers to help you out. We’ve even got a few great bras for nursing moms, so all you mommas (and mommas-to-be) can run in comfort.
Shop Our Sale to find the just right bra for you.
The trail beckons. Are you equipped for the journey? You will be in the Men’s Pearl Izumi Ultra Collection and Women’s Pearl Izumi Ultra Collection. As an ultra runner, it can be challenging to find gear and apparel that provides both a lightweight, performance fit and enough storage options to cover you for the long haul. This fall, Pearl Izumi came through with a solution. Here are a few highlights from the collection:
Pearl Izumi Ultra Windblocking Jacket
The power in this piece is all in the details. The jacket is constructed of a wind resistant fabric (without a laminate) that offers some serious protection against the elements, with supreme breathability. Pearl Izumi added an abrasive print to the shoulders of the jacket to increase pack traction, so you’re pack or vest won’t slide around as much when you maneuver over technical terrain. The zipper hides a draft flap and zipper garage that help prevent chafing and chilliness. Zip up and get out the door!
Pearl Izumi Ultra Tight
Start with a multi-paneled, ergonomic design that allows your legs to move freely as you power through challenging mileage. Add soft thermal fabric with waterproof calf and ankle splices that keeps your muscles warm when the temperature plummets. Then throw in lock-down ankle zippers and hits of reflectivity.
In addition to a large secure zip back pocket for safe storage of essentials, these tights have stretch mesh pockets located at an angle on each hip to store gel flasks, gels, or other nutrition or hydration essentials. The pockets are located on the upper back portion of the hips, so whatever you’re carrying will move with you.
Pearl Izumi Ultra Gaiters
Take care of yourself all the way down to your toes on the trail with the Ultra Gaiters. Stretch fabric and a highly durable underfoot strap will give you a secure, almost custom fit. A small hook attaches to your laces to keep dirt and debris from sneaking into the front of your shoe, so you can focus on the trail ahead.
What do you look for in long-distance running apparel?
Look in the typical runner’s closet and you’re not likely to find a running vest. That’s too bad. Any runner who’s been out in chilly weather can tell you the benefits of a half zip or jacket, but many people just aren’t sure what to do with a run vest.
We know what you’re thinking: “If it’s cold and rainy, why would I want my arms exposed?” Certainly, a vest isn’t going to keep your extremities roasty toasty or dry when out in the elements. That’s just the nature of the design. But vests do offer five big benefits:
- Protect your core body temperature. Many runners find that even in colder weather, they feel comfortable as long as their core is protected. A run vest fits the bill perfectly.
- Provide warmth with full range of motion. This is where the lack of sleeves really comes in handy. You can move your arms freely and twist and turn without restriction.
- Block wind without causing overheating. Remember the wind and water-resistant jackets of yore that trapped sweat like nobody’s business? The technology has advanced in recent years, but many wind-resistant jackets still can’t provide the inherent breathability of a wind-blocking vest.
- Keep you dry. Some vests such as the Nike Men’s Shield Winter Vest (shown above) and Nike Women’s Shield Vest feature water-resistant fabrics or finishes. For the ultimate in wind and waterproof fabric, along with 360 reflectivity, check out the Pearl Izumi Men’s Fly Evo Vest.
- Help you be seen. Several running vests are made with high-visibility, brightly colored fabric that helps you get noticed and stay safe on the road. These vests include the Brooks Men’s Nightlife Essential Run Vest II, the Brooks Women’s Nightlife Essential Run Vest II (shown above) and the Saucony Men’s ViZiPRO NMD Vest.
Do you ever run in a vest? What features do you look for in a running vest?
Your evening training run probably won’t find you in a digital world fighting evil, but this “TRON”-looking apparel line from Asics will equip you to tackle your night run in greater safety.
Many runners have trusted Asics for their go-to running essentials for years, but this season the brand has introduced some serious “wow” with their Lite Show line, a revolution in visibility-focused apparel. The collection offers the technical features you look for in running apparel – wicking fabrics, ergonomic flatlock seams, mesh in key sweat zones – and then steps it up a notch in the reflectivity department with reflective stitching and trim.
The strategic placement of these reflective elements results in 360-degree reflectivity and a fast, flashy aesthetic. Many of the reflective seamlines are placed on parts of the body that are in motion when running (like the sleeves of tops and the outer legs of pants), which helps drivers see you from farther away. Want to learn more? Watch a Lite Show Video showing the apparel in motion.
Gear up and get out to run…or to fight malevolent characters in a digital domain. Your choice.