what to wear to run in 30 degree weather

When it comes to running, comfort is key. Whether you’re running through the dog days of summer or freezing temperatures in winter, the right gear can make all the difference.

Thankfully, it’s possible to run comfortably in 30 degree weather, but it takes some planning. So we asked Kara Dudley, running coach at Mile High Run Club, for her advice on what to wear.

Base Layers

Base layers are an essential part of your winter running gear. Not only are they important to keep you warm and dry, but they also help regulate your body temperature so you don’t get sweaty or cold as quickly.

A good base layer will be made from a material that wicks moisture away and keeps you dry. It should be breathable and have thumb holes so that it stays in place when you’re pumping your arms up.

For example, this lightweight merino wool top from Smartwool can be worn on its own in sub-freezing temperatures or paired with an insulated outer layer for even colder conditions. It’s designed to wick moisture, regulate body temperature, and reduce odor.

When choosing a base layer, it’s important to choose one that’s the right thickness and weight for your activity. Ultralight designs are ideal for cold weather, while midweight and heavyweight choices are better for aerobic activities and warmer days.

If you’re looking for a high-performance base layer that can perform well in cold weather, merino or yak wool are the best options. These natural fibers wick moisture, regulate body temperature and beat back scent for long periods of time.

Another option is synthetic fabric, which wicks moisture more efficiently and is faster to dry than wool. However, synthetics tend to be heavier and don’t last as long as a natural material like wool.

If you’re not sure what to buy, it’s a good idea to start with a couple of different styles so that you can try them on before making a final decision. If you find one that you love, invest in a few different colors to keep you covered during your runs.

Running Tights

The right tights can make all the difference if you’re running in 30 degree weather, so it’s important to invest in some quality winter running tights. The best pair will be moisture wicking, breathable, support you and keep you comfortable during your runs.

You’ll want to look for a good material blend that includes a percentage of Merino wool, which is known for its temperature-regulating properties. It also stretches and moves easily with your body, helping to keep you comfortable.

Compression fabric is often used in running tights, which helps to increase blood flow and circulation in your muscles. This can lead to better recovery after a tough run and prevents muscle soreness.

A good pair of running tights should also have an extra feature such as a drawstring waistband, which can help to keep the apparel in place on your waist and prevent it from slipping around when you run. This is especially important for men’s tights, which often sit lower on the hips than women’s leggings.

Another thing to look for is a high waistband, as this will help to prevent your legs from being exposed to cold air and rain while you run. Lastly, you’ll want to choose a pair that has reflective details, which will help you stay visible in low light conditions.

The most important thing to consider when buying a pair of tights is the fit. These should fit comfortably and snugly against your legs, with an elastic waistband that is able to stretch. You should try them on and perform a few squats to ensure that they’re the right size for you.


A windbreaker is a great piece of clothing to wear when you’re running in 30 degree weather. It’s lightweight, versatile and packable, making it a must-have for anyone’s wardrobe.

They come in a variety of styles, from a pull over to a half zip. They are usually made from nylon or polyester fabric, which makes them breathable and water-resistant. They also come with a shiny finish, which adds a touch of confidence and a sense of style.

Many windbreaker jackets are lightweight and pack up into their own pocket, so you can carry them on your back or sling them over your shoulders without burdening yourself. These designs are particularly useful for on-the-go activities such as climbing or backpacking, since they eliminate the need for a bulky backpack (which can be a hassle to stow).

Another popular type of windbreaker is the insulated windbreaker. These designs are typically lined with a fleece or cotton liner that helps increase their heat retention properties and wick away moisture from the skin, so you’re more comfortable when running in colder weather.

Finally, a few designs use stretch fabric to improve their mobility and breathability. This may be done through their weave or with the addition of a small amount of elastane.

These are some of the most versatile and durable jackets on the market, so they should last a long time, but they should be maintained in order to keep their water-repellant finish intact. The best way to do this is by following the manufacturer’s instructions for machine washing and drying.


When it’s cold outside, you need a hat that can keep your head warm while wicking away moisture. It’s also important to pick a hat that covers your ears and stays securely on without slipping off.

Beanies are great options because they offer a good balance of warmth and breathability. Many are made from wool, which keeps you warm and retains your heat. But you can also find beanies that are made from a blend of polyester fleece and wool.

You can also buy a hat that has a drop-down ear flap, like this one from Trailblazers, which is especially good for keeping your ears and neck warm on colder days. You can also get a hat that’s more of a cap, with a bill to shield your face from rain or snow.

If you have long hair, you’ll want to look for a hat with a hole in the back that’s large enough to accommodate your ponytail. Some beanie hats have an opening in the front that can be used to pull your hair through, so you don’t have to worry about your hair getting caught in the brim while you’re running.

Lastly, look for a hat with reflective taping or high-visibility coloring to make you more visible on low-light runs. These will help you to be seen more easily by pedestrians and drivers on dark roads.

You’ll want to choose a hat that’s comfortable and durable, which means it needs to be made from high-quality materials. You’ll also want to look for a hat that has an adjustable band to fit different head sizes. Plus, a good winter running hat should have a brim that’s wide enough to prevent the sun or snow from getting in your eyes.


At any temperature below 40degF, gloves can make a big difference to your comfort level, keeping hands warm and dry. They can also help you maintain dexterity during runs and protect your fingers from the elements.

Gloves come in a wide range of fabrics, from naturals (like merino wool) to modern synthetic blends. The fabric that you choose will affect how well they perform, regulating temperature, wicking sweat and delivering a good balance of warmth, weather protection and breathability.

You should also consider the thickness of your gloves. While thick gloves are often heavier, they can be a good choice when you need extra insulation. On the other hand, thinner gloves are more comfortable as they’re less likely to cause your hands to overheat.

If you’re looking for something a little lighter but still warm and waterproof, try a pair of waterproof gloves. They’ll keep your hands dry, but be sure to check that they’re not bulky and will still fit around your wrists.

A good pair of waterproof gloves should also have a water-resistant coating, so they’ll be more durable in wet conditions. Some brands use Gore-Tex while others have their own in-house waterproof fabrics.

Another option is a pair of convertible mittens. These feature-filled gloves convert from a mitten to a fingerless glove with magnetic snaps that hold them in place, so you can stow the mitten flap in a pocket on the back of your hand when not in use.

Whether you’re looking for a simple pair of light liner gloves, a warmer set of mittens or a set with touchscreen-compatible e-tips and reflective detailing, there’s a glove that’s right for you. Just remember to find a pair that fits comfortably, as too loose or too tight can cause your hands to feel uncomfortable or even cramped during a run.

Chelsea Glover