The cold is here, and whether you run on rough, snowy trails or wet, sloppy roads, the recent drop in temperature provides us runners with a whole new set of challenges. While it’s easy to adjust our wardrobes with additional layers or a pair of gloves, most of us completely forget about the benefits of using a shoe that is built to handle the rough winter season. Below, we lay out some of our favorite shoes that can handle the variety of different running conditions we’ll see this winter.
Ultimate Traction for Snow and Ice
If you’re the type of runner who refuses to hop on the treadmill, even during the hairiest blizzard, you’re going to want a shoe that is built to provide maximum traction. For that, the Salomon Speedspike CS is one of the best options on the market, due to its sticky rubber outsole and 15 individual carbide spikes. The shoe can easily penetrate ice and snow, and is built to help you run confidently though the messiest conditions. To help keep your feet dry and comfortable, the upper is built with a water-resistant membrane and anti-debris mesh that surrounds the entire foot.
Ultimate Protection from the Elements
If your top priority is keeping your feet completely dry while out on the trails, having a high top trail shoe is your best bet. Shoes like the Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP and La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX are great picks that deliver both the protection and traction necessary to handle wet, muddy, or snowy terrain. Both shoes offer a high top design that keeps your feet completely encapsulated, and a waterproof outer layer that keeps the elements out. In order to provide aggressive traction that can take on rough surfaces, both shoes offer identical tooling to other flagship soft ground models within their respective brands. The Snowcross 2 CSWP offers the same outsole design as the Speedcross 4, while the Crossover 2.0 GTX offers the same outsole design at the Mutant.
Versatility for Rugged Trails
For runners looking to traverse varied rocky terrain during the winter season, a shoe with versatile grip and a water-resistant upper can come in handy. While there are several trail options that offer water resistance, a more traditional trail shoe like the Cascadia 12 GTX is a popular choice for many runners due to its rock protection and traction. Paired with a Gore-Tex upper, the shoe will help keep your feet dry if you happen to run into wet winter conditions. Another trail option for the runner seeking a more natural running experience is the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell. Featuring a specialized upper with a Polartec NeoShell lining, the 3.0 NeoShell delivers a weather-resistant barrier to help keep your feet dry from the elements, while also offering Altra’s zero drop design to allow for a more natural foot movement.
Basic Protection for the Roads
If you live in a location where winter weather is fairly tame, the Nike Shield Collection offers that little bit of additional protection to keep your feet happy. These shoes offer the same specs as their standard road counterparts, but their uppers include a DWR coating to offer light water-resistance. If you happen to run through a puddle or encounter some light rain, these shoes will help ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable. The Shield collection includes both a neutral (the Pegasus 34) and a stable (the Structure 21) option.
Connor, aka The Face of Running Warehouse, is our resident footwear guru and helps us keep a finger on the pulse of running trends and current events. A member of the local HOKA Aggies running team, Connor walks the walk, or should we say, runs the run.