Winter Running Guide: All You Need Is Gloves

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Tired of finishing runs without feeling in your thumbs? Having trouble opening your door when you get home from your morning run? Worried that your inability to open the door will lead to a local news report about a poor soul that froze on his or her own doorstep? If you answered yes then this is the blog for you!

Why is this happening?

essentials_gloves_intro2When we run, blood is pumped to the areas that are most important for sustaining both our core temperature as well as the activity being performed, i.e. our core, head, and legs. Meanwhile, blood flow to the hands becomes increasingly limited as the temperature drops. However, the decrease in hand temperature that accompanies this biological change is easily avoidable with gloves!

To pick out the right pair of gloves there are three primary factors to consider:

  • You, or more specifically, the level of blood flow to your hands. Some hands can chill in a light breeze while others are perpetually sweaty.
  • The outside temperature. Are you experiencing light goose pimples, or have the depths of winter robbed the fire from your soul?
  • The weather, paying close attention to wind speeds and precipitation. Wind chill, which is accentuated by being wet, is the leading cause of extremity discomfort in runners aged 10-99 according to a recent, unpublished, n=1, study, so make sure your hands are protected against evaporative cooling.

What about normal gloves?

su_f15_rbn_6431While standard issue gloves may get the job done in certain cases, run-specific gloves have features that can turn your frosty slog into a pleasant jog. So let’s break the decision down according to individual differences, temperature, and weather to find the best possible glove for your frigid ventures.


Thin Gloves

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-34-30-pmThin gloves are the starter pack for running in the cold. They capture just enough heat to keep hands comfortable without starting up the sauna effect. Of thin gloves, two standouts are the ASICS Thermopolis LT Ruched Gloves and the Oiselle Lux Gloves. Both the Thermopolis and the Lux are made with ultra-soft heathered fabrication and have improved functionality in the form of touch screen compatible thumb and index fingers.

Shop for the ASICS Thermopolis LT Ruched Gloves

Shop for the Oiselle Lux Gloves

Intermediate Gloves Sans Weather

As the temperature drops without the threat of wind or water, medium thickness gloves come to the forefront, specifically the Nike Therma-Fit Elite 2.0 Run Gloves and Saucony Vitarun Gloves. Key benefits of both gloves include a fleece nose wipe on the back of the thumbs and touch screen compatible thumb and index fingers. In the winter your nose runs when you do, and that fleece nose wipe is a game changer. Differences between the pairs come in the form of breathable fabric and silicon grip elements on the Therma-fit gloves verses a wind and water-resistant back panel and magnetic wrist fasteners on the Vitarun gloves.

Shop for the Nike Therma-Fit Elite 2.0 Run Gloves: Men’s | Women’s

Shop for the Saucony Vitarun Gloves

Intermediate Gloves With Weather

If the temperature remains above or near freezing but the forecast moves to a bona fide storm warning, all runners can benefit from a pair of the ASICS Windblock Gloves. A warm, brushed interior and wind and water-resistant fabrication make this glove warm and comfortable while silicone grip dots, touchscreen compatible thumb and index fingers, and a small key pocket on the right hand cuff create high level functionality. If James Bond ran for fun, these would be his gloves.

Shop for the ASICS Windblock Gloves

Heavy Duty Gloves

When the weather moves to March of the Penguins cold, having hot hands does not mean a thing, and the Salomon Thermo Gloves are the play. A water resistant coating keeps the elements at bay while its insulation wicks moisture in addition to maintaining heat. Velcro closures at the wrist ensure a snug fit as well, and, if your phone is still warm enough to function, the thumb and forefingers of both gloves are touchscreen compatible.

Shop for the Salomon Thermo Gloves

Shop all Running Gloves

Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.

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