Winter is the season that most challenges us if we are outdoor running enthusiasts. However, falling temperatures, reduced daylight hours, cold weather, rain and even snow should not cause us to give up the pleasure of outdoor exercise or to continue our running-based training routine.
Running in the winter season can be just as rewarding as practicing it in warmer seasons, the important thing is to be aware that you need the right equipment. From a heavy, windproof jacket, to a pair of gloves, to a hat to keep your head warm to a pair of running shoes specifically designed and engineered to challenge the winter weather.
What to Know About Winter Running Shoes
Running shoes for winter use must first and foremost have one common feature always, whether running on snowy mountain trails, city sidewalks and even muddy country paths: they must protect the feet, keep them warm and safe.
Especially because running in winter equates to dealing with low temperatures, wet and slippery surfaces and any kind of precipitation such as wind, rain or snow, it is essential that the shoes we go in with are designed primarily to keep our feet dry, resist wear and tear and offer reliable grip.
It is good to highlight of how, on a technical and comfort level, winter running shoes do not differ too much from other types of shoes suitable for other seasons.
Of course, getting more specific about the features and technologies used to make accurate shoes, we note that there are models from some brands such as Nike and Adidas that have particularly narrow soles and significant heights that cause the foot to come off the ground a bit more than other shoe models.
This feature in some circumstances, such as on icy roads or unstable terrain, may not be optimal, as it could cause slips or falls while running. For this very reason, it is important to understand what general features we find on all types of shoes for each season and which ones are designed exclusively to cope with winter.
In winter the main problems are low temperatures and weather. If we go running in rain or even snow and have lightweight or non-waterproof shoes we risk getting our feet wet leading to discomfort, inconvenience and even problems such as frostbite.
To overcome this, winter running shoes tend to have an upper made entirely of a waterproof membrane. The most common ones are made of Gore-Tex that allow rain, snow and generally water to be blocked by making the upper less breathable preventing feet from getting wet even up to the ankle.
Of course, the Gore-tex membrane is not the only one on the market, many brands have their own versions designed exclusively for their products, such as Saucony’s called Runshield. The U.S. brand has developed this totally water-resistant membrane that we find in models such as the Saucony Ride 15 Runshield.
This running shoe is designed for running long distances preferably on asphalt and is recommended for winter training, even in the rain thanks precisely to its waterproof upper.
With the addition of the Formit design, the shoe adheres perfectly to the skin offering comfort to the runner, and the resistance and grip on asphalt are given mainly by a rubber sole made with carbon inserts.
Heat and safety
It goes without saying to imagine that keeping your feet warm and comfortable is an imperative while running in cold temperatures. Obviously having a good pair of running socks can help, but choosing a shoe based on its characteristics is critical. It is important to look for shoes designed that are padded around the ankle and generally on the inside and front of the toe precisely because a sturdy upper can trap a lot of heat and also protect against ice and snow if temperatures and weather conditions are very cold.
The Adidas Ultraboots C.RDY. These shoes are perfect for running on trails of all kinds, but especially in adverse weather conditions.
The upper is designed in Primeknit+ which offers excellent foot isolation and water repellency to allow us to train even in low temperatures. The sole is also made of rubber to be able to offer grip especially on wet terrain through use. And it’s precisely the sole, the last crucial factor we want to talk to you about to have an excellent winter running shoe.
The importance of the sole
Safe and durable traction is just as important as keeping our feet warm when we are running on wet trails or with snow and ice.
If we are running on roads we will need slightly different sole characteristics than if we are running on a snowy or even icy trail; in fact, on roads it is great to look for shoes that have a rubber-coated sole that can give grip on both wet and slippery surfaces.
An excellent shoe in terms of these features is the Nike Pegasus 39 Shield.
This running shoe features, in addition to a water-repellent coated upper, a sole designed specifically to offer good traction on wet surfaces while also adding a design that helps deflect water by improving direct contact with the surface we are training on.
We also talked about this model in particular in another article, which we encourage you to read if you are interested in knowing what are the best shoes for winter depending on the different contexts in which we may find ourselves.
On the other hand, if we run on snowy or muddy trails, it is good to know how to choose shoes with lugs that are at least 5mm thick. In this way the shoe can adhere deep into the ground giving greater stability and safety while running that many other shoes could not guarantee.
On the other hand, with regard to situations in which temperatures drop even below zero and we find ourselves with completely frozen ground, it is good to know that we will need shoes made with spikes on the sole designed specifically to break the ice so as to maintain good traction in slippery areas.
In cold or rainy weather…let’s run!
Running is definitely a rewarding and healthy physical activity. It allows us to stay in motion and, above all, do sports outdoors.
With the winter season it is normal to be more reluctant to practice any kind of sport outside a gym, especially because of the cold, the few hours of daylight and the weather, but this should not stop us!
With the right equipment we can face these adversities without giving up the pleasure of running, and shoes in all of this play a crucial role.
To this day, technology and innovation, even in the area of sports footwear, allows us to have a wide choice of products that can meet our needs and ensure comfort, warmth and stability even if the conditions related to the weather and the season do not allow us to do so.
So despite rain, snow, ice or unstable terrain let’s lace up our shoes and run!
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