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The Best Cold Weather Running Tights for Below 30 Degrees

author image Jae Allen
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.
The Best Cold Weather Running Tights for Below 30 Degrees
Proper leggings will keep you warm and safe for winter running. Photo Credit Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

In cold weather, many runners make the switch to indoor treadmill training. Training inside during the winter can help you avoid treacherous, icy road conditions, cold weather and the slipperiness associated with running on snow. If you dislike treadmill training, however, outdoor winter running can be fun, exhilarating and cheaper than a gym membership or treadmill purchase. In subfreezing temperatures, it is important to wear suitable leggings for running.


If you are going to be running outside in subfreezing weather, you will need full-length running tights that reach your socks. Any skin left exposed in these temperatures will quickly become painful when it comes in contact with the cold air. If the weather is wet or snowy, you can avoid getting the bottoms of your tights wet by either tucking them into your socks or by selecting tights with a stirrup foot that goes under the arch of your foot either inside or outside your socks.


Tights made of different materials will react differently to cold-weather running. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends wearing synthetic or natural tights designed to wick sweat from your body. Cotton material has a tendency to remain wet with sweat moisture; during cold-weather runs, this can pose a risk of freezing. Running tights that are insulated with a fleece material or a layer of wool will help keep you warm. MedicalNewsToday.com recommends tights with a wicking material closest to your skin and a layer of windproof and water-resistant material as the outermost layer.


The American Council on Exercise reports that layering your clothing during winter exercise can help you conserve body heat and maintain a comfortable temperature. When you first head out for a winter run, wear several layers to keep you warm. Once you have warmed up and started to sweat, you may want to remove some of these layers. However, it's important to have layered clothing available to put back on as you cool down from your run. In terms of leggings, you may wish to wear two pairs of tights on top of one another for part or all of your run.


According to ACE, lean athletes will typically need to wear more clothing during cold-weather running than those carrying more body weight. If you are relatively slim, or if you have a tendency to feel the cold, consider wearing extra layers or thicker running tights. Additionally, it is best to start off your run into the wind on cold days; as you warm up and sweat, there is a risk of hypothermia if you head home into the wind and your sweat is cooled or frozen by it.

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