How to Dress For Running in Cold Weather – Norwegian Style

Here’s everything you need to know about running outdoors in cold weather, and how to dress properly.

«Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær.» is a norwegian saying. Directly translated it means something like this: «There is no such thing as bad weather, only poor choice of clothing.»

And I love that saying, because it’s very accurate and describes the Norwegian spirit – there is no excuse for not being outside!

Read: 10 reasons to start running

I am aware that many of you don’t live above the Arctic Circle such as myself (hi, I’m Lisa by the way 🙋🏻‍♀️). But I do know that mother nature can be cruel across the globe, especially during the first months of the year. So, take advice from a Norwegian runner, who has experienced running in all four seasons – also the more extreme cold ones. I know a thing or two about dressing for running in cold, winter weather.

The good thing is, outdoor running and exercise is no problem as long as you're properly dressed. Getting a good Winter Tights/Thermal Tights is something to prioritize as it is pretty adaptable to many different weather types.

Running in Cold Weather and How to Dress - Winter Tights

Winter Tights – a thermal tights for outdoor running

Our Winter Tights, also called Thermal Tights, is perfect for outdoor running and outdoor workouts. The Winter Tights has a 360 reflective print, a pocket to fit your phone and brushed inside for heat regulation to keep you warm on colder days. Designed to enhance performance, make you visible and warm.

The Winter Tights is of course non-see-through and 100 % squat proof! 

Sizing: Choose your regular EU/Norway size.

> Not sure about your size? Take a look at this guide

Here are a few tips for outdoor running in cold weather:

1. Don’t overdress 

You may think that cold weather equals layers and layers of super thick clothing. That may be a huge mistake. Yes, it’s possible to overdress. Layering too much clothing while running can make you sweat. And when that sweat gets cold, you may start to chill. That’s why it’s important to read the weather forecast so that you can dress appropriately.

Running in Cold Weather and How to Dress - Windbreaker Jacket

2. Look at – and understand – the weather forecast

The weather forecast can tell you a lot, but keep in mind that the temperature can feel different once you start moving. Is it just cold, or is it windy? Or perhaps it’s raining? Or all of the above? Getting dressed based on the weather forecast can make a huge difference in both comfort and performance. 

3. Know about Wind Chill

The strength of the wind may make it feel colder than it actually is. In Norwegian, we call this «effektiv kulde» (“effective cold”, directly translated).

For example:

  • A wind speed of 10 m/s and an air temperature of 10°C will feel like -0°C (31°F or 273K).

If you’re planning to go for a run on windy, cold days, try to run with the breeze on your way out and have the breeze at your back on your return. It’s best to avoid running into the wind when you are wet and sweaty because you’ll more easily start to chill. Clothing that is soaked in sweat can actually make the heat loss be 5 times faster.

Lastly, remember to cover your ears, hands, and feet. These zones are further away from your heart, which implies it requires more exertion to jump-start the system there, particularly when all the blood is being coordinated to your bigger muscles to control your run.

Running in Cold Weather and How to Dress - close up jacket

4. Keep in mind that the biggest heat loss areas of the body are:

  • The head
  • The neck
  • Armpits
  • Hands/fingers
  • Crotch
  • Ankles
  • Feet

Running in Cold Weather and How to Dress - shoes

Now, let’s start with the basics on how to dress for running in cold weather:

  • 60+ degrees (15+ °C): Tanktop, shorts & sneakers.
  • 50–59 degrees (10–15 °C): T-shirt or a thin Long Sleeve, shorts and sneakers.
  • 40–49 degrees (5–10 °C): T-shirt, shorts or tights, gloves (optional) and a headband to cover ears (optional) and sneakers. 
  • 30–39 degrees (0–5 °C): Long Sleeve, Wind Breaker Jacket (if you tend to get cold) tights, gloves and headband to cover ears and sneakers. If it's snowy or slippery, use spiked shoes (piggsko) or terrain shoes. Remember thin wool socks (technical wool).
  • 20–29 degrees (0 to -5 °C): A thin wool overall, a Long Sleeve, Wind Breaker Jacket and Winter Tights, gloves and a headband/beanie. If it's snowy or slippery, use spiked shoes (piggsko) or terrain shoes. Remember wool socks (technical wool).
  • 10–19 degrees (-5 to -15 °C): A technical wool overall (if you don't have that, you can use two layers of wool), Long Sleeve (if it's more of a loose fit), Wind Breaker Jacket and Winter Tights, gloves/mittens and a headband/beanie. Remember to wear something around your neck as well. If it's snowy or slippery, use spiked shoes (piggsko) or terrain shoes. Remember wool socks (technical wool).

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