Running, or any outdoor workout for that matter, at times requires epic levels of motivation to get out the door. Throw in piles of snow, slick sidewalks, freezing rain, and short days, and that tiny bit of motivation that you did have could take a sudden nosedive. Who wants to go out running in that?
But then you see those runners who brave even the worst conditions. They might be training for a marathon, are members of the United States Running Streak Association (runners are required to complete at least one mile a day), or they need to get that sweat going even if the weather is less-than-awesome.
I’ve been known to be one of those runners. Although some winter days in Wisconsin will keep me on the bench (or the couch), there have been plenty of times I have faced near-blizzards so I can get my run in. And I love all the gadgets that are available to runners nowadays that make life, and winter, significantly easier.
There are two essentials when it comes to winter running—heat and light. You can layer and layer, and still feel the chill. And even if you’re not running at night, cloudy, rainy, or misty days can still make it tough for drivers to spot you.
Here are some of the best-of-the-best winter workout must-haves on Amazon so you can keep running all winter long.
1. A chest light that makes you noticeable after the sun goes down
This adjustable chest light not only makes you visible to others—it allows you to see the path ahead to safely avoid any obstacles. It’s battery-powered and has three lighting modes, including a power-saving option for longer runs. According to the reviews, this light has been a life-saver for trail runners, mountain bikers, and GoPro enthusiasts alike.
2. A jacket with its very own heating system
Heated jackets have grown more and more prevalent in the last few years, and they’re pretty much godsends for cold-weather runners. This one has three heating areas—two in the chest and one in the back, and you can choose low, medium, or hot. Any jacket on its own can keep you fairly warm, especially once you get moving, but this is toasty right away, making it easier to get outside and move.
3. A wearable hydration backpack with thermal insulation
Runners often forget to hydrate during the winter. We tend to think, I’m not sweating as much, so I don’t need as much water. And we are so wrong. It might not feel the same as a sweaty summer run, but you are actually sweating just as much in the winter weather. That’s why it’s ideal to run with a hydration backpack. This highly rated option keeps fluids cool for up to four hours thanks to thermal insulation, and it’s more reasonably priced than CamelBak hydration system.
4. A portable heater that can charge your phone too
This little-heater-that-could is USB-powered and can majorly take the chill off. Slip one in your pocket or stop for a break and hold it in your hands for a quick warm-up. As an added bonus, it can also charge your devices.
5. A pair of gloves that keep you warm and light the way
When I have something to wear for my workouts that puts a smile on my face, I get more excited to run. These LED gloves will make you safer and more visible, but they’re also just plain fun with their flashing, rainbow-colored lights. Who doesn’t need a little joy when we head out for those harrowing, why-does-it-have-to-be-so-darn-cold winter runs?
6. A top-rated, super-bright headlamp
You don’t have to explore a cave to wear a headlamp. Hikers, runners, and even commuters on foot love them too. With three light modes and rechargeable batteries, it’s easy to see why this one is an Amazon best seller.
7. A reasonably priced watch made for runners
Yes, those Garmin and TomTom running watches are undoubtedly nice. But if you’re not ready to drop $200 or more for a fitness timepiece, this Timex Ironman watch is a great option in its place. It has an Indiglo Light-Up watch dial for those dim nights, it’s water-resistant, and has a few bells and whistles like a target pacer, interval timer, and even hydration alerts.
8. An LED ‘slap’ armband that enhances your safety
If you were a kid in the early ‘90s, you know slap bracelets were the thing. Like you, they’ve grown up a bit, reincarnated as LED armbands that can be slapped on for nighttime running. They’re one-size-fits-all and rechargeable, too. Plus, they look rad.
9. A personal alarm for those just-in-case moments
OK, so no one wants to imagine worst case scenarios. But when you’re a winter runner, they can happen no matter how well prepared you are. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation, this little alarm can be a lifesaver—literally. It packs a surprising punch as the world’s smallest alarm, and it’s a carabiner, so you can clip it on and get moving.
10. A set of clip-on lights
Make sure everyone can see you coming whether you run day or night. These LED lights can be set to blink slow or fast, giving you plenty of options for visibility. And they come with straps made to be worn on wrists or ankles, Or you can clip them to your sneakers or belt.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.