Winter running can be enjoyable– but you’ve got to get the right gear. Canadians are used to dealing with the cruelest of conditions be it sleet, ice rain, snow storms, or bone-chilling winds. Runners from pretty well any region of Canada can expect cold temperatures and harsh elements at least from December through to the end of March. As we know, the weather is a beast that cannot be controlled or tamed. But runners can invest in themselves and their love of the sport by getting the right gear head of winter’s chill. A proper base layer is essential for every run in the wicked-cold season. A good base layer will provide insulation and keep the body heat in. These are some of our picks for high-quality base layers this year.
Smartwool: Men’s NTS Mid 250 Pattern Crew, $105. This layer is form-fitting and one piece which Smartwool brags is super comfortable and popular among runners. This base layer is also designed with extra panels to make it more comfortable for those run commuters running to or from work with a pack. It’s 100 per cent Merino wool and is stitched with seamless construction so runners have to worry only about their routes and pace, not about treating annoying chafe afterwards.
Under Armour: Women’s Cold Gear Authentics Mock, $37.49. A big take-home with this piece is that it’s made with anti-microbial fabric. That means that it’s designed to keep those odorous scents at bay. Under Armour does a high-quality base layer that’s reliable and comfortable and keeps runners warm without feeling sealed in. This one is sweat-wicking and breathable to keep runners feeling fresh from the first kilometre to the last.
The North Face: Men’s L1 Top, $159.99. For runners who refuse to stay inside just because the weather isn’t ideal, this base layer by The North Face is likely to become a favourite this season. This one sits close to the skin, has minimal seams so as not to cause discomfort when layering, it’s moisture managing to keep runners from get sweat-logged mid-run and finally, it has a nice half-zip for those milder, early winter runs. This one functions just as good as it looks.
New Balance: M4M Seamless Long Sleeve, $89.99. This is going to be that comfy, cozy base layer that pushes runners to get out for a run on dark and snowy nights. The layer is made with New Balance Heat technology meaning that it will keep body heat from escaping. Pair it with a vest in early winter, and runners should be all set.
2XU: Cross-Training Compression Top, $160. This brand is known for their compression gear and so it’s only natural that their base layers would be of a high quality as well. Runners who test this piece of apparel will notice that it’s compression system works to prevent muscle strain and warm-up muscles quicker. It’s also made with anti-bacterial fabrics to keep those sweaty smells from settling in.
RELATED: 2016 winter running shoe guide