Winter running gear to make exercising in the cold more bearable

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Travel, parties, and family get-togethers make it hard enough to squeeze in exercise— especially an outside run, which is therapeutic for many — during the holidays. In most parts of the US, the cold poses yet another obstacle. Besides dragging yourself out of the warm, cozy cocoon you've created on the couch, you need to dress warmly without overheating, a delicate feat — or resort to running on a treadmill (the worst). Check out Mic’s gift guide for winter running gear to help your loved one hit their weekly mileage goals, no matter how low the mercury dips.

The weightless windbreaker

The special nanofibers in this jacket are cold and water-resistant, but their breathability prevents overheating, while their softness and lightness enable easy mobility. Reflective trim keeps you visible after daylight, and drawstrings allow you to tighten and loosen the bottom hem and hood to your liking. Both the men and women’s jacket come in black and bright green — in case you feel like adding a tropical flair to your snowy run.

The storm-ready jacket

This waterproof, wind-resistant softshell jacket also has reflective print that keeps you visible to drivers and others, crucial in the fall and winter months, when the sky darkens early. Front pockets provide storage for honey sticks — alleged superfuel for runners — and other necessities. The women’s jacket comes in black and lavender gray, while the men’s jacket comes in black and teal.

The vest

The duck down sewn into this water-repellant vest helps your core stay warm, without making you look like a marshmallow. Front pockets offer ample storage, while the slim fit and geometric stitching pattern keep you looking fresh. The women’s vest comes in black and light indigo, the men’s vest in black and army green.

The joggers

These joggers are made from sweat-wicking, quick-drying fabric that will keep you warm and dry during outdoor training. Slim but not too form-fitting, with a breathable, non-elastic waistband and handy pockets, they come in three neutral hues: black, gray, and olive green.

The socks

These calf-length running socks are woven from special fibers that absorb less heat from the body than those found in typical running socks. An additional insulating layer sits atop the shin, which DryMax says the windchill makes especially cold. You can buy in red, green, and black in both men and women’s sizes.

The gloves

Waterproof and wind-resistant, these gloves will keep your hands toasty and dry on even the most blustery runs. Reflective material allows drivers and others to spot you from a distance

The new-school sneaker

For some next-level cold protection, the Ghost 12 GTX has all of the arch support Brooks promises, as well as a waterproof GORE-TEX® upper (the part of the shoe that covers the toes, the top and sides of the foot, and the back of the heel) to keep your feet dry when you're running through 4-day old, disconcertingly yellow slush. They come in both men's and women's sizes.

The classic sneaker

Part of the rush of sticking to your outdoor running path, even when it's freezing out, is the comfort of familiarity. These kicks echo that sentiment: They're light, supportive (thanks to a thick, intuitive, midsole) and comforting — a tried-and-true go-to.

The racing sneaker

Is it ever really too early to start training for the marathon? The On Cloudflow doesn't give a crap how cold it is outside. Its Helion superfoam cushioning joins forces with a curved heel — and overall physics-oriented design — to aid acceleration and keep your knees and ankles supported through the elements.

The aftercare

Percussive massagers look like robot guns from the future, but they're actually intuitive devices that roll out your muscles to decrease soreness (imagine a foam roller on Red Bull), helping you recover faster and increasing your range of motion — all crucial to a running regimen. The Hypervolt Plus has sensory technology to accurately address muscle tension post-run, and it promotes circulation. Plus, Noami Osaka uses it. A worthy investment? We think so.

The headphones

You won't be able to get your mind off the cold without a fire running playlist and light, high-quality headphones to enjoy it on. These won't slip off, they work for nine hours without needing to be charged, and are sweat (and rain/snow) resistant.

The cap

We should that headphones won't do anything for you if you freeze your ears off. This skullcap is our pick to avoid that drama — it's light, non-intrusive, and moisture-wicking, so sweat to your heart's content.