Are you ready for winter running? -

In the ‘bleak midwinter’, on cold, wet and windy days, those fair weather runners among us may retire to the gym to maintain our fitness. But for some, running in the winter can be a more enjoyable experience than running outside during the hot, humid days of summer. As long as you prepare just as well.

So when the weather is miserable, what footwear can allow us to keep getting out there, enjoying our running or training for spring races – in comfort, and without risking an injury? Polly, Profeet’s run and footwear technician, shares her top tips for overcoming winter running obstacles.

…Before you head out running – warm up!

When preparing for running outside during the colder months, your warm-up becomes crucial. With colder weather, muscles and joints are tighter and more prone to injury. One review found that the injury rate for musculoskeletal injuries in recreational runners was higher in the winter months.

Accept that there’ll be a change in the winter. You’ll need to put more time aside for warming up and cooling down. You could go for a really fast run in summer, but you might find that a much slower, shorter run in the winter is actually a lot harder because your whole body, even your mind, is working,” says Polly.

Include some dynamic stretches to loosen the joints and get the blood flowing to warm up the muscles. Also, prepare for potentially slippery conditions that can put other demands on the body. It’s not just warming up the legs and doing upper leg swings and stretches, you need to activate that core too for your balance. Your arms are going to help you keep your rhythm, keep your balance as well. So your whole body is now working slightly more.”

Staying warm and upright on the run

So your body is warmed up when you head out, but what about ensuring that it stays that way? Keeping the entire body protected from the elements, while recognising that you will still be ‘working out’, can be challenging.

Polly recommends having different shoes in your arsenal for different conditions. In snowy weather, when you’re out running for a long time, running footwear with Goretex can help keep your feet warm and dry.

I’ll try and get as close to my road shoes as possible. For example, if you wear Brooks Ghost and need better road trainers for wet weather, the Brooks Ghost GTX with Goretex are a great choice. And for the trails, you couldn’t go far wrong with a pair of Brooks Divide that offer waterproofing and comfort  – also a great walking shoe. Running socks are another important consideration for enhancing comfort, and wicking away any moisture so that you are less likely to develop blisters.”

Brooks Divide


If you don’t have trail shoes, for dealing with wet and slippery road conditions, Polly recommends road running shoes with large Continental rubber outsoles for extra grip and stability, such as the Adidas Solar Control range.

Adidas Solar Control range

When it comes to your other running clothing, layering is key. But also, staying hydrated can be easily overlooked on colder days.

Hydration vests for packing water and electrolytes can be useful, especially for that extra pocket to keep something warm when you remove layers.”

The benefits of a winter running check

Another key consideration in the winter is that your running movement, including your stride, your joint loading and your running economy is likely to alter when dealing with different weather conditions. This is where a running analysis can help.

You’ll probably take shorter steps, slowing down a little bit depending on the terrain, so your gait is going to change a little bit. You’ll probably centre your mass more directly over your feet rather than leaning forward too much. So having a more comfortable shoe for you could be beneficial because it just helps that impact slightly more.”

You may be recommended a pair of custom insoles that can offer a much-needed extra layer of comfort as your body adapts to different winter running conditions. But just a final word of caution from Polly:

After your run, if your running shoes are wet, make sure that you remove the insole. This will help with drying them all out properly. But take care not to put them directly on heat  – put them near to a radiator but never on top as the heat may modify them. And don’t put wet shoes in the washing machine!”

Call 020 7736 0046. to book your one-to-one appointment with one of our qualified Profeet technicians.

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