The best winter workout gear vastly differs from summer’s exercise staples. Yes, sports bras and leggings remain part of the equation, but colder weather calls for more insulating pieces. Think thicker tights, down-filled vests, long-sleeve tops, thermal jackets, and weatherproof sneakers, plus winter workout accessories like hats, gloves, neck warmers, and tall socks. They’re just as, if not more, important than a toasty top layer or fleece-lined leggings that trap heat in where it quickly escapes. Trust, the moment you attempt a winter workout without one of these extras, you realize just how essential they are.
While style is, of course, a priority when choosing cold-weather workout attire, layering and fabric are key to shopping for the best winter workout gear. No matter if you’re a runner, cycler, trail walker, or studio-fitness fanatic, certain materials like wool, wind-resistant nylon, and fleece lining with moisture-wicking abilities are designed to withstand the elements and set you up for peak performance. Likewise for the number of layers you choose to wear—just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you need six layers to get through a workout, but rather the right two or three to ensure a comfortable sweat. Ahead, discover Vogue’s edit of the best winter workout gear from brands like Lululemon, Nike, Alo Yoga, and many more.
Lightweight, airy leggings are great in the heat, but when temperatures drop you’ll want to be prepared in a thicker fabric to shield your legs from the cold. Wool-blend or fleece-lined leggings and tights are the best for keeping those gams toasty warm.
The long-sleeve top is a staple in any winter workout wardrobe, whether as a base, mid layer, or solo top. Like other year-round garments, seamless designs made from moisture-wicking fabrics will keep you feeling dry when sweat drips and warm in chillier temperatures. For even more insulation, go for a turtleneck, especially if you’re not fond of extras like a scarf.
Some winter athletes can manage in a single long-sleeve top in the cold, but if you’re more the layering type, seek out a lightweight, insulated jacket or windproof design to sport over a toastier long-sleeve base or mid layer.
Toasty Puffer Vests
If you prefer free arms while working up a winter sweat, say hello to the insulated vest—a less cumbersome layer to wear atop a long-sleeve top, zip-up jacket, or moisture-wicking turtleneck.
Though the sweatshirt has become a ready-to-wear staple, let’s not forget its intended purpose for working out. It’s tried and true in the winter, whether for a trail walk, run, or chilly studio session.
Joggers for Jogging
Similar to the sweatshirt, joggers are equally ideal for winter workouts. Those baggy silhouettes you curl up in on the couch can work as a warm-up layer in the cold. For higher-intensity activities, go for a slimmer fit, be it a 100% cotton, fleece-lined, or water-resistant design.
Layers are the key to a successful workout. When two are enough, start with a thin base, then top it off with a mid layer like a zip-up jacket or pullover in a moisture-wicking fabric to stay dry and warm. Finally, on ultracold days, finish with a puffer vest or jacket—trust, in super-low temps, you won’t feel too bulky.
For icy, snowy, or downright frigid conditions, a winter-ready sneaker is critical. Seek out an insulated and waterproof design with slip-resistant Gore-Tex soles suited to the trail or street.
Hats, Gloves, and Extras
Just like your day-to-day winter outfits, accessories really pull a cold-weather workout outfit together. Hats, headbands, gloves, neck warmers, and tall socks are essential for keeping those often forgotten places warm for peak performance.